W-League: Nervous Foord cruises to Glory

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Perth Glory winger Caitlin Foord admitted she was a nervous wreck before taking on her former teammates in last Saturday’s Westfield W-League clash against Sydney FC.

It was the first time Foord squared off against the club she suited up for in 46 games before signing with Perth at the start of the season to play alongside good friends Sam Kerr, Alanna Kennedy and Mackenzie Arnold.

Foord may have had butterflies in her stomach as she walked on to the pitch, but they were not evident once the match kicked off.

The 19-year-old made two attacking runs inside the opening four minutes, narrowly missing a chance to score her third goal of the season, to signal to her former teammates where her allegiances now lie.

Foord was one of the star players on the pitch as Glory ground out a fighting 1-0 win over Sydney at Ashfield Sports Club to open up a five-point gap at the top of the table after six rounds.

“It was a weird feeling, I was more nervous for this game than any of the others so I’m glad we got the win,” Foord said.

“It was an all-round effort. The girls played really well and dug deep to get the win.”

Glory’s win was particular impressive given the absence of key playmaker Kerr in attack, however Gabrielle Marzano proved a worthy replacement in her first starting appearance in purple.

Kerr was ruled out before last Saturday’s match with a hamstring injury, but she is set to return against Adelaide United at Adelaide Shores Football Centre on Saturday.

“I think Gabe stepped in really well for her, but obviously Sam’s speed up front we missed,” Foord said.

“Her and Katie (Gill) work well off each other so we did miss her out there, but she’ll be back next game.”

Glory is sitting pretty at the top of the table with a perfect record and a win over Adelaide will go a long way to securing just a second-ever W-League finals appearance for Jamie Harnwell’s side.

Defending champions Melbourne Victory, currently third on the table, await Glory after this weekend’s showdown with the Lady Reds. Both games are away fixtures for Perth, but the team is determined to claim maximum points from each contest.

“If you keep getting wins, you keep moving up the table and (more wins) will go a long way to securing our place in the finals,” Foord said.

“We obviously want to get that top spot so we need to keep getting the wins. It’s always harder playing away so hopefully we can keep up the good form and keep winning.”

On the other side of the pitch, the Sky Blues were picking up the pieces after failing to make the most of their opportunities in Perth.

Sydney youngster Amy Harrison had a chance late in the game to cancel out Marianna Tabain’s 51st minute strike, but was denied by a brilliant piece of goalkeeping from Arnold.

Acting captain Servet Uzunlar said she was disappointed her side did not to take away at least a point from the match.

“It’s good that we created those chances, but unfortunately we couldn’t put them away,” Uzunlar said.

“It’s always disappointing not getting a point out of a game, especially when you travel (because) it’s great to pick up points on the road.”

Uzunlar described the loss – Sydney’s first of the season – as a wake-up call for the two-time W-League champions.

“We switched off for one second and they scored a goal so it just goes to show that you always have to be switched on,” she said.

“They (Glory) are playing really well and all credit to them. They’re obviously gelling really well, they’ve got a good coaching staff behind them and they’re looking really deadly.”

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