Melbourne Victory clinched a third straight win in the Liberty A-League, overcoming the Newcastle Jets 1-0 on Tuesday.
Victory squandered numerous chances in the first half at McDonald Jones Stadium, but found a winner shortly after the break.
Brooke Hendrix headed in a set-piece in the 55th minute to give Victory a third consecutive win and yet another clean sheet.
Victory made a bright start and put the Jets under heavy pressure in the first half.
After Alex Chidiac tested Jets goalkeeper Claire Coelho from distance, Kyra Cooney-Cross – back after being away with the Commonwealth Bank Matildas – and Catherine Zimmerman almost combined.
It took a superb save from Coelho to deny Victory a 20th-minute opener, the shot-stopper making a reflex stop to keep out Zimmerman’s effort from a Chidiac cross after a flowing team move.
Alana Murphy, who scored her first Liberty A-League goal against the Wellington Phoenix on Friday, fired just wide from 20 yards on the half-hour mark after receiving a pass from the lively Cooney-Cross.
Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont was forced into a save 10 minutes prior to half-time, denying Sophie Harding.
And the visitor finished the first half with a flurry and was unlucky not to be ahead.
Cooney-Cross fired across the face before Coelho denied Maja Markovski from point-blank range, the striker shooting into the goalkeeper’s feet after a Chidiac header into her path.
Chidiac then hit the post and Claudia Bunge headed a corner over as the teams went into the break at 0-0.
Victory finally opened the scoring in the 55th minute through Hendrix, who made her first Victory start.
Murphy curled in a superb set-piece from the left and Hendrix headed in via the inside of the post.
Victory continued to push and Chidiac saw a good 20-yard strike tipped over by Coelho on the hour-mark.
The Jets enjoyed more chances late on before Zimmerman fired wide in additional time as Victory held out for three points.
What they said – Hendrix
on her game…
“I feel like I’m still knocking a little bit of the rust off, but it was exciting, it was back and forth, it was everything you want when you’re playing.
on the defence…
“We’re pretty young and I think the more we can build off each other and each win and get to know each other a bit more, it’s going to be even better.
Player in focus
Returning from international duty and a suspension, Cooney-Cross quickly found her rhythm again. The Matilda started in attack and was a constant threat against the Jets.
A third straight win kept Victory (18 points) in fourth, but it holds a game in hand on Sydney FC (25), City (21) and Adelaide United (18).
Liberty A-League 2021/22 Round 6
Newcastle Jets 0
Melbourne Victory 1 (Brooke Hendrix 55′)
Newcastle Jets: Coelho (gk); Jaber, Davis, Fenton, Simon (Gooch 74′); Johnson (Allan 55′), Gordon, Brodigan; Eddy, House (Dolvik 74′), Harding.
Melbourne Victory: Dumont (gk); Doran, Bunge, Hendrix, Nevin; Jackson (c), Murphy (Barbieri 78′), Chidiac (Eliadis 88′); Cooney-Cross, Markovski (Withers 69′), Zimmerman.
Yellow cards: Doran 14′, Eddy 64′, Gordon 79′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Victory’s busy run of fixtures continues with a clash against the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday.