Wanderers undefeated run comes to an end against City

Gaining revenge for a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Wanderers a fortnight ago, City kept up their challenge to Western United, who earlier defeated Brisbane Roar, at the top of the table.

After 10 games, City lie second with 22 points, two behind United and four clear of third-placed Sydney, with the former retaining a game in hand on City and the latter holding two.

But with games against their rivals still to come, City’s coach is emphasising an internal focus.

“The message is that we never go too far ahead,” he said.

“We focus one game at a time; I want to see them improve not only as a collective but individually.

“We want the results but there’s also an emphasis on development.

“The table, we’ll see at the end (of the season).

“If we keep winning games we’ve got a great chance and we’ve still got to (play) all those teams around us: we’ve got to see Western again, we’ve got two battles against Sydney we’re looking forward to.”

After a cagey opening, the hosts led in the 14th minute when a scramble for a Rhianna Pollicina corner was headed back across the goal by Kaitlyn Torpey and bundled over the line by Hannah Wilkinson.

Monopolising possession against a foe fatigued from a midweek draw with Melbourne Victory, that goal would ultimately prove all City needed: securing their seventh win of the season despite a frantic final 10 minutes.

Heading into Saturday undefeated in four games after starting their season with five straight losses, a Wanderers win would have propelled them into an unlikely race for finals football.

“I’m asking a lot of players to be able back up. The league are, in fact, the fixturing is asking the players to back up after a tough hitout on Wednesday night and then travel,” WSW coach Kat Smith said.

“We anticipated that we wouldn’t have as much of the ball as we usually would but when we did have possession we needed to keep it a lot better than we did.

“That’s what ultimately happened, we beat ourselves in the end.

“We go again and we’ve got opportunities to take points from teams around us on the ladder.”