Gutsy Glory edged out by ladder-leaders


Rebekah Stott’s second-half goal proved enough to consign Glory to a 1-0 defeat in Thursday’s Westfield W-League clash with Melbourne City at ABD Stadium.


The visitors, however, could take plenty of positives from what was a bright and gutsy performance against the star-studded ladder-leaders who have now won five out of six this season.

Glory showed great defensive resilience in keeping City’s much-vaunted frontline at arm’s length for long periods, while Morgan Andrews again caught the eye in midfield and Crystal Thomas was a tenacious presence up front.

And Head Coach Bobby Despotovski was unstinting in his praise of his entire squad following the final whistle.

“I could not be prouder of the team and the way they played today against one of the strongest sides that this competition has ever seen,” he said.

“To keep them at bay and have a few half-opportunities to score, how they conducted themselves and how disciplined the performance was – I’m the proudest man on earth.

“Everybody stepped up to give their all and the girls themselves took charge.

“It was a good free-kick that undid us, but we are coming back to Perth now with a plan in place and lot of belief in one another.

“I spoke to Jess Fishlock (former City captain) after the game and she was hugely impressed with our performance for the majority of the game, especially with it being such a young squad.

“So that was very positive to hear from one of the best players in the world.”

Although City created an early chance when Kyah Simon nodded an Ellie Carpenter cross wide, a largely cagey opening quarter was characterised by Glory pressing high and preventing the hosts from finding any real rhythm.

Eventually the chances did start to come at both ends, Matildas midfielder Emily van Egmond firing a low free-kick narrowly wide for the hosts in the 23rd minute and Katarina Jukic and Andrews both subsequently having sighters for the visitors.

Glory ‘keeper Eliza Campbell was finally called into meaningful action for the first time in the opening moments of the second half, reacting well to gather a flick from Simon who had been picked out by the overlapping Stott.

Again Glory responded in kind almost immediately, Thomas fashioning an opportunity through her dogged persistence only to see her effort lose its sting courtesy of a deflection which allowed Lydia Williams to make a comfortable save.

The women in purple then created another decent opportunity, Jukic showing clever feet before cutting the ball back for Leticia McKenna whose goalbound strike was blocked by Emma Checker.

But when the breakthrough finally came, it arrived at the other end just after the hour-mark.

Steph Catley’s free-kick crashed against the underside of the bar, Simon nodded the loose ball goalward and Stott forced it over the line from point-blank range.

Ellie Carpenter duly squandered a great chance to double City’s lead when she side-footed wide with the goal gaping and Glory were grateful to Campbell with 11 minutes left when she went full-length to block Claire Emslie’s well-struck half-volley.  

Rado Vidosic’s side proceeded to push hard for a second goal in the latter stages, but further impressive work from Campbell ensured that the Glory backline would not be breached again.

Match Details

Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season Round 6

Melbourne City 1 (Stott 62′) Perth Glory

Half-time: 0-0

ABD Stadium, Broadmeadow

Referee: Kelly Jones

Assistant Referee 1: Janelle Sammut

Assistant Referee 2: Jasmine Steger

Fourth Official: Danielle Anderson

Melbourne City FC: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2.Yukari KINGA, 6.Aivi LUIK, 7.Steph CATLEY (c) (19.Tyla-Jay VLAJNIC 90+2′), 9.Claire EMSLIE, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND, 13.Rebekah STOTT, 15.Emma CHECKER, 17.Kyah SIMON, 20.Milica MIJATOVIC (3.Lauren BARNES 46′) 21.Ellie CARPENTER

Substitutes not used: 4.Chelsea BLISSETT, 23.Melissa BARBIERI (gk) 

Yellow Cards: Checker, Carpenter

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 5.Shannon MAY, 6.Arianna ROMERO, 7.CELIA, 8.Morgan ANDREWS, 9.Crystal THOMAS, 10.Julia SARDO (2.Sarah CARROLL 68′), 11.Leticia MCKENNA (4.Ayesha NORRIE 80′), 24.Natasha RIGBY (c), 28.Katarina JUKIC (14.Caitlin DOEGLAS 77′)

Substitutes not used: 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk)

Yellow Cards: None

Red Cards: None