W-League | City start season with gutsy win

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Melbourne City kicked off their title defence with a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at CB Smith Reserve on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Melbourne.

The hosts came storming out of the blocks with Jess Fishlock dominating the midfield in every sense and the Welsh International caused Newcastle all sorts of early headaches.

Her first raking switch of play found the overlapping Steph Catley who, after some further interplay with Fishlock, picked out new signing Erika Tymrak in the eight yard box but she blasted over the bar under pressure.

Fishlock’s next cross field ball in the 7th minute yielded dividends finding former Victory defender Lauren Barnes steaming down the left. Barnes’ deep cross found the head of Marianna Tabain and the stirker finished strongly to open up City’s account for the season.

The goal seemed to wake the Jets up and they began to work their way into the game. They were only able to create the one opportunity, however, when the impressive Arin Gilliland played Jennifer Hoy in behind with her deflected cross forcing a save from Lydia Williams.

Williams was the busier of the two keepers in the second half as Newcastle began to push for an equaliser. The Matildas’ stopper pulled off an excellent save from an bullet not long after Jenna Kingsley headed wide from 8 yards out.

The last ten minutes or so petered out as both sides began to tire.

It may have lacked the devastation of their 6-0 opening day thumping of Sydney FC last season but in holding out against an intense and determined Jets outfit Melbourne City’s title defence is off to a solid start ahead of their huge clash with Canberra next week.

MELBOURNE CITY: 1. WILLIAMS Lydia, 2. ALLEN Teigen, 3. BARNES Lauren, 5. ALLEWAY Laura, 6. LUIK Aivi, 7. CATLEY Stephanie (C), 10. FISHLOCK Jessica, 11. TYMRAK Erika, 13. STOTT Rebekah, 15. JACKSON Amy, 17. TABAIN Marianna

NEWCASTLE JETS: 1. WYS Kelsey, 3. O’REILLY Elizabeth, 4. OYSTER Megan, 5. GILLILAND Arin, 6. DAVIS Cassidy, 7. SIMON Gema, 8. STANBURY Emma, 9. HOY Jennifer, 13. MACINTYRE Grace, 17. KINGSLEY Jenna, 19. BRODIGAN Ashlee

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