McKenna strike in vain as Glory are downed by Premiers


A stunning first goal of the season from Leticia McKenna was not enough to prevent Glory from suffering their fifth defeat of the season as reigning Westfield W-League Premiers Melbourne Victory ran out 2-1 winners at Dorrien Gardens.


The home side’s Crystal Thomas saw her early penalty saved by Casey Dumont and Victory made the most of that let-off as Amy Jackson helped herself to a brace either side of the break to put them in charge.

And although McKenna’s stinging strike on the hour-mark gave the home side hope, they were ultimately unable to breach the visitors’ defence for a second time.

The result means that Glory’s search for a first win of the season goes on, but Head Coach Bobby Despotovski felt that his charges deserved at least a share of the spoils.

“I’m disappointed that we didn’t get anything out of the game ,” he said, “especially after the first half when we had so much possession and created the better chances.

“We missed a penalty, hit the post, hit the crossbar and just couldn’t convert.

“We called it on the bench that it would have to be something special to beat Eliza [Campbell] and it was.

“That was really a double-whammy with us having had some much possession and so many chances and not taking them and Victory having one shot and it going in.

“That was really disappointing for the girls, but they have to learn to deal with these situations as they arise.

“At this moment in time, we’re not that far away. We haven’t been smashed by anyone, but we’re never holding a lead, we’re just not converting.”

The game burst into life as early as the second minute when Rosie Sutton turned Lia Privitelli’s cross-shot into the net only to have her effort ruled out for offside.

And within sixty seconds, Glory responded through Katarina Jukic who swivelled sharply in the box and rifled in an angled shot which left Dumont grasping at thin air, but crashed back out off the post.

The hosts continued to ask plenty of questions of the Victory defence as the half wore on and were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead in the 23rd minute.

Thomas’ turn in the box was too clever for Emily Menges who brought her down, but having taken responsibility for the spot-kick herself, Glory’s number nine saw her effort comfortably saved by Dumont low to her right.

Campbell then produced a good save of her own at the other end to keep the dangerous Darian Jenkins at bay, before Julia Sardo struck the top of the Victory crossbar with an over-hit cross three minutes later.

As the chances continued to flow, the visitors eventually took the lead in spectacular fashion, Jackson unleashing an unstoppable effort from fully 25 metres out which cannoned against the underside bar before crossing the line.

Shortly before the break, Campbell was called upon to prevent Natasha Dowie from doubling her side’s advantage and Jackson also went close with another long-range strike as the visitors ended the half on the front foot.

There was nothing the Glory ‘keeper could do to prevent the women in grey from increasing their lead shortly after the restart, however, Jackson forcing the ball home from point-blank range after Dowie’s header had rebounded down off the crossbar.

To their credit, Despotovski’s side reacted well to the early setback and halved the arrears on the hour-mark, McKenna pouncing on a loose ball and beating Dumont all ends up with an angled drive that crashed in off the inside of the far post.

The home fans got right behind their team in the latter stages, but despite applying some concerted pressure, Glory’s search for an equaliser drew a blank.

Match Details

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Perth Glory  1 (McKenna 60′) Melbourne Victory 2 (Jackson 33′, 52′)

Half-time: 0-1

Dorrien Gardens

Attendance: 618

Referee: Isabella Blaess

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Southern

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Josh Mannella

Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 5.Shannon MAY (4.Ayesha NORRIE 55′), 6.Arianna ROMERO, 7.CELIA, 8.Morgan ANDREWS, 9.Crystal THOMAS, 10.Julia SARDO (2.Sarah CARROLL 55′), 11.Leticia MCKENNA, 24.Natasha RIGBY (c), 28.Katarina JUKIC (14.Caitlin DOEGLAS 82′)

Substitutes not used: 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk)

Yellow Cards: Sarah Carroll

Red Cards: None

Melbourne Victory: 1.Casey DUMONT (gk), 2.Rosie SUTTON (13.Polly DORAN 90+4′), 4.Emily MENGES, 6.Haley HANSON, 8.Angie BEARD, 9.Natasha DOWIE (c), 10.Jenna McCORMICK, 11.Darian JENKINS, 15.Amy JACKSON, 16.Annalie LONGO, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI (14.Melina AYRES 63′)

Substitutes not used: 18.Grace MAHER, 30.Teagan MICAH (gk)

Yellow Cards: Menges, Privitelli

Red Cards: None