Glory climbed to the top of the Westfield W-League table after goals from Lexie Moreno, Katie Naughton, Sam Kerr (2) and Rachel Hill secured a spectacular 5-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Marconi Stadium.
Moreno marked her first senior start by firing home the visitors’opener and although Leena Khamis’ header soon levelled things up, Naughton opened her account for the club to make it 2-1 before the break.
Kerr then added the third in the second half, overhauling Michelle Heyman as the competition’s all-time leading goalscorer when she swept home her 64th W-League goal.
And 64 became 65 nine minutes from time when the skipper again found the net from close-range, this time with a header.
Hill duly completed the scoring, converting at the third attempt after the post and home ‘keeper Nicole Simonsen had blocked her two previous efforts in quick succession.
The victory, their fifth of the season, leaves Glory in a strong position to clinch a finals berth when they take on fellow-high-fliers Melbourne Victory in their last game of the regular season at Dorrien Gardens next Friday.
And Head Coach Bobby Despotovski was understandably delighted at the final whistle.
“We controlled the whole game, from start to finish,” he said, “apart from a few minutes when we started panicking and went back into some of our old habits.
“But after that we dominated. We had worked very hard over the previous ten days to rectify what went wrong against Newcastle in our last game and it was great to see that hard work come to fruition.
“We said to the girls before the game that they needed to bring their competitive spirit and desire to win, because I didn’t need to tell them how important the game was or where we were sitting on the ladder because they knew all that.
“I left them with that message and they really responded.
“I’m really looking forward to next week’s game at Dorrien now. Hopefully we’ll get a good crowd along to the game and the girls will respond to that home support.”
The women in white grabbed the lead with the first meaningful chance of the game, Kerr laying Hill’s cross off to Moreno and the 17-year-old rifling home a low shot via the foot of the post.
It could easily have been 2-0 barely two minutes later, but Simonsen made a fine sprawling save to foil Hill after the American had been played in by Kerr.
And Kerr herself then went close, just failing to flick home a ball unselfishly squared to her in the box by Hill who had been sent clear by Shannon May.
As Glory continued to dominate, Simonsen produced another good save to deny Kerr who had been sent in on goal by Mautz, but the home goalkeeper saved her best for the 23rd minute, beating away Kerr’s penalty after Talitha Kramer had impeded Hill in the box.
The visitors were left to rue their profligacy just short of the half-hour when Khamis met Servet Uzunlar’s free-kick with a towering header to make it 1-1.
To their credit, however, Despotovski’s side kept their composure and regained the lead when Hill’s low shot was blocked by Uzunlar and Naughton crashed home the loose ball from close-range.
The second half began every bit as brightly has the first had, with the dangerous Khamis firing over for the hosts following neat approach play from Elizabeth Addo.
Both sides were also left aggrieved by referee Katie Patterson when Kerr looked to have been hauled to ground by Uzunlar as she threatened to race clear on goal and then Addo had her penalty claims waved away following a clash in the box with Tash Rigby.
The smile returned to Kerr’s face 20 minutes from time, however, when she sidefooted home Hill’s low cross for her record-breaking goal which gave the visitors some welcome breathing space.
Eliza Campbell then did her bit to preserve her side’s lead by producing two impressive saves from Erica Halloway before Mautz teed up Kerr for number four and Hill’s persistence saw her grab the fifth with six minutes left.
Westfield W-League 2018/19 Season Round 13
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Khamis 27′) Perth Glory 5 (Moreno 9′, Naughton 39′, Kerr 70′, 81′ Hill 84′ )
Referee: Katie Patterson
Western Sydney Wanderers : 30.Nicole SIMONSEN (gk), 4.Maruschka WALDUS, 5.Rachel LOWE, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Lo’eau LABONTA, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 10.Kylie LEDBROOK (20.Caitlin JARVIE 78′), 11.Elizabeth ADDO, 14.Courtney NEVIN, 15.Talitha KRAMER (12.Susan PHONSONGKHAM 83′), 19.Leena KHAMIS
Substitutes not used: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 9.Remy SIEMSEN
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory: 1.Eliza CAMPBELL (gk), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Alyssa MAUTZ , 5.Shannon MAY, 7.Nicole STANTON, 9.Rachel HILL (14.Caitlin DOEGLAS 87′), 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 15.Alexia MORENO (11.Leticia McKENNA 74′), 20.Sam KERR (c), 24.Natasha RIGBY (12.Jenna ONIONS 80′), 25.Katie NAUGHTON
Substitutes not used: 21.Morgan AQUINO (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil