Adelaide United eased to a 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Marconi Stadium on Friday night, as Chelsie Dawber starred with a second-half brace.
Kayla Sharples put the first Reds goal on the board inside five minutes after a faulty sprinkler head delayed the start of the game by 22 minutes. The visitors burst out of the blocks, with Wanderers keeper Sarah Langman pulling off a string of saves to keep her side in it before a second-half collapse saw the Reds waltz away with the points.
Dawber and Worts strike combo a ‘frightening’ prospect for Liberty A-League opponents
Two goals to Chelsie Dawber against the Wanderers took her tally for the season to six; and despite not getting on the scoresheet herself, the complimentary style of play Fiona Worts brings to the table is one Paramount+ football analyst Georgia Yeoman-Dale sees bearing fruit for the Reds as they target a push for a club-first finals appearance.
“(Dawber) had a fantastic game tonight,” Yeoman-Dale said post-match.
“That’s a very clinical finish from her (for her second goal), and we’ve seen her do it time and time again in the A-League Women’s season.
“She’s a great attacking player, she brings other players into the game and her combination with Fiona Worts up front is frightening for the rest of the league.”
The Reds cruised to a 3-0 win on Friday night, collecting their second clean sheet in a row – but although the goals flowed at Marconi Stadium, Dawber knows it’s a feat her side need to repeat on a regular basis to avoid a repeat of the heartbreaking end to last season.
“We missed out (on the finals) by one goal last year,” Dawber told Paramount+ post-match. “So we know every game is very important toward the end of the season.
“It’s only a 14-game season so we know each week we need to come in, take the three points and go again next week.”
Dawber added: “I think I did pretty well, but it was a great team performance overall. We came straight out after the game delay firing, I think that set the tone for the rest of the game, so I’m pretty happy with our whole team performance.
“I don’t think we’re a very dirty or physical side ourselves, but we came to the party and we matched the physicality and came out with the win in the end.”
The damning record hampering the Wanderers’ Liberty A-League campaign
Never before has a Liberty A-League side scored fewer goals after eight rounds than Catherine Cannuli’s Wanderers.
With just two goals on the board this season, the Wanderers are lagging behind the rest of the pack. Even the Phoenix – with just one point from seven games – have scored more (three).
Before tonight, Western Sydney’s defensive record was keeping them alive. Cannuli’s side had conceded just five goals heading into the Reds clash – but a first-half shoulder injury to key defender Clare Hunt coincided with the concession of a further two goals before the final whistle.
Adelaide had 28 shots to the Wanderers’ eight, with 10 shots on target to just three.
Wanderers defender Alexandra Huynh says she’s frustrated with her side’s form line, as from within the club she sees incremental improvement as each game goes by.
“I think if you compare today to last week (a 1-0 loss to Perth Glory), we had so much more build-up in the middle and top third,” Huynh told Paramount+ post-match.
“Obviously we’ve been working on it a lot, and you can see – the chemistry, the girls are starting to click. But it’s like you said, the ball isn’t going into the back of the net, and that’s where it needs to be.
“Honestly just devastated because we have improved. We deserved at least a couple of goals tonight. Credit to Adelaide they did well defensively. It just hurts to lose again.”