W-League: A tight Round 2 defeat in Melbourne

Two goals in four minutes, against the run of play, put Newcastle behind after 11 minutes in their first Westfield W-League match of the 2018/19 season.

Despite a fast goal in response – Cortnee Vine’s first in the Westfield W-League – the Jets couldn’t find a second to bring a point back from Melbourne.

Newcastle had a chance in the first minute of play after left-back Gema Simon bombed on and got a cross in, but the Melbourne defence forced Katie Stengel’s shot wide.

The Jets dominated the opening stages, but it was a wonder goal which put the home side in the lead. Melina Ayres struck the ball from 30 yards out and nestled it in the top corner to give Victory a 1-0 lead.

Just four minutes later, Melbourne broke through and doubled their advantage. A fantastic Grace Maher pass put Natasha Dowie in behind the Newcastle line, and she produced a precise finish to double Victory’s lead.

Keen to get on the scoreboard themselves, Newcastle replied just a minute later. Some beautiful hold-up play and a demonstration of skill from Katie Stengel had her facing goal, and saw her play a beautiful ball to Cortnee Vine who’d read the American’s intentions.

Cortnee Vine
Cortnee Vine was impressive up front

Vine found herself in behind, and left Victory ‘keeper Casey Dumont stranded as the young winger fired in her first ever Westfield W-League goal to make the score 2-1.

The Jets nearly had another goal in the 18th minute after a goalmouth scramble which saw Clare Wheeler send the ball home, but Dumont scooped up the danger.

An ambitious Melina Ayres scissor kick went well over the bar in the 21st minute, as both teams settled after what was a hectic opening to the Jets first Westfield W-League match of the season.

It was the home side who finished the first half stronger with a trio of chances, Emily Gielnik hit the top of the net with a shot from outside, before another shot from the edge of the area from Natasha Dowie, produced an extraordinary save from Britt Eckerstrom.

The resulting corner was Victory’s third chance in as many minutes as Sam Johnson sent a header toward goal, but Gema Simon was on the line to ensure the deficit was just one at half-time.

Tara Andrews W-League
Tara Andrews rises at a corner.

Cortnee Vine nearly had a chance at doubling her Westfield W-League goals tally five minutes into the second half, but the ball in was just a touch too high.

The Jets enjoyed a good passage of play in the opening stages of the second half, with a number of threatening balls in creating chances and worrying Victory defenders.

There was a strong shout for a penalty in the 78th minute when Gema Simon went down inside the penalty area, but referee Rachel Mitchenson waved the shouts away.

Natasha Dowie gave up a gilt-edged chance five minutes later after finding herself in behind but hit the crossbar, and Gema Simon at the other end hit the post after a fantastic ball over the top from Larissa Crummer as the Jets fought, without reward, for an equaliser.

It was a promising performance from Craig Deans' side, who showed glimpses of what they'll be capable of in attack through van Egmond, Stengel and new recruit, Taylor Smith who impressed in her Club debut.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Ayres 7’, Dowie 11’) def. Newcastle Jets 1 (Vine 12’)
Thursday 1 November, 7:30pm at Lakeside Stadium