Wanderers maintain streak in W-League


Western Sydney have increased their unbeaten streak in the Westfield W-League to four matches after an impressive 3-0 win over the Newcastle Jets.

Western Sydney Wanderers have increased their unbeaten streak in the Westfield W-League to four matches after an impressive 3-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in sweltering conditions at Campbelltown Sports Ground on Sunday.

In a dominant display by the home side, skipper Sarah Walsh led the way – scoring a goal in each half before substitute Candace Sciberras put the icing on the cake with a strike right at the death.

The victory sees the Wanderers move up to third spot on the Westfield W-League ladder and is made even more impressive by the fact they were again without stars Servat Uzunlar and Teigan Allen on international duty.

The Jets tried hard throughout but struggled to mount any concerted pressure on the home side’s defence.

With the temperature hitting 40 degrees in Sydney’s west, it was a scrappy start from both sides as they struggled with the intense heat and bumpy surface at Campbelltown.

But the first bit of quality from the Wanderers captain led to the opening goal.

Walsh was given too much time to receive the ball and turn at the Jets defence before unleashing a stinging shot past Eliza Campbell in the visitors’ goal.

After her match-winning performance against Brisbane last weekend, Wanderers winger Catherine Cannuli was being kept quiet on the left-hand side but she almost set-up the home side’s second.

Cannuli made a metre of space for herself out wide and swung in a teasing cross to the back-post but Linda O’Neill couldn’t direct her attempt towards goal.

While the Jets enjoyed most of the territorial advantage in the opening half they were struggling to create any meaningful chances against the well organised Wanderers defence.

So it was no surprise when the home side doubled the lead nine minutes after the break via a wonderful team goal.

Cannuli and Rachael Soutar combined brilliantly before the latter released Louise Fors down the left wing.

The hard-working midfielder took a touch before picking out Walsh with a pin-point cross, with the former Matildas striker heading home from close range.

Jets boss Wayne O’Sullivan brought on Michaela Hatzirodos soon after that goal and the substitute almost made an immediate impact when released by Madeline Searl, but her shot trickled wide.

Walsh was in a relentless mood and almost completed her hat-trick soon after, only denied by a strong parry by Campbell.

Even when Walsh was substituted out of the game 15 minutes from time the home side didn’t lose their impetus, with Alisha Bass going close on a couple of occasions.

But Sciberras ensured there would still be time for a third goal, in the right place at the right time to volley home the rebound after Campbell had initially saved Trudy Camileri’s shot.

The Wanderers will get a huge test of their title credentials nest weekend when they travel to Perth to take on the league-leading Glory while the Jets are at home against the Brisbane Roar.

Western Sydney Wanderers 3 (Walsh 23, 54 Sciberras 90+3)
Newcastle Jets 0

Western Sydney Wanderers: 20. Thora Helgadottir (gk), 3. Alexandra Huynh, 5. Olivia Kennedy, 6. Rachael Soutar, 8. Vanessa Hart, 9. Sarah Walsh (c) (17. Alisha Bass – 76), 11. Louise Fors, 12. Jessica Seaman, 13. Catherine Cannuli, 14. Trudy Camileri, 16. Linda O’Neill (18. Candace Sciberras – 87)

Newcastle Jets: 1. Eliza Campbell, 2. Hannah Brewer, 3. Hayley Crawford (c), 4.Gemma Pearce (14. Sammara Schmitzer – 46), 5. Tori Huster, 7. Gema Simon, 8. Madeline Searl (15. Alishia Foote – 77), 11. Kate Hensman (18. Michaela Hatzirodos – 58), 12. Tiffany Boshers, 13. Bronte Bates, 16. Stacey Day