A starring performance from Lisa de Vanna has seen Melbourne Victory maintain their lead at the top of the ladder with a strong 4-1 win over the Newcastle Jets
A starring performance from Lisa de Vanna has seen the Melbourne Victory maintain their lead at the top of the Westfield W-League ladder with a strong 4-1 win over the Newcastle Jets at Adamstown Oval on Saturday.
The winless Jets surprised their more fancied opponents in the first half by competing well and holding the Victory to a 1-0 lead at half-time.
But a three-goal blitz in five minutes, all involving Matildas star De Vanna, saw the Melbourne side take an unassailable lead early in the second half.
The Jets deservedly pulled a goal back midway through the second stanza to bring some respectability to the hard-fought contest.
The Round 10 match started in perfect conditions and both sides had early chances before a lovely chip shot from De Vanna saw Melbourne take the lead in the 12th minute.
Newcastle was dealt a body blow in the 22nd minute when live-wire winger Sophie Nenadovic was forced from the field with an ankle injury, with defender Stacey Day coming on and playing in an uncustomary role in the forwards for the Jets.
While it was an arm-wrestle in midfield, Victory had more chances with De Vanna and Caitlin Friend being denied by brilliant reflex saves from Jets goal-keeper Eliza Campbell and the visitors had to be content taking a 1-0 lead into the half-time break.
Victory flexed their muscle in a thrilling five-minute period early in the second half, all engineered by the pace and tenacity of De Vanna. She doubled Victory’s lead in the 53rd minute when she broke free down the left flank and swung in a cross come shot that snuck inside Campbell at the near post.
De Vanna had her hat-trick three minutes later when she unleashed a vicious left-foot shot from just inside the box that found the top far corner of the net.
Victory went 4-0 ahead just a minute later when De Vanna fashioned a deft back-heel pass inside the area for skipper Stephanie Catley to drive home.
The Jets kept on fighting and they went close in the 69th minute from a set piece after Clare Wheeler was fouled in a heavy tackle by Lauren Burns. Day took the free-kick that was forced around the post by Victory custodian Brianna Davey. From the corner Jets defender the ball fell to fullback Siahn Bozanic who rattled the crossbar with a well taken shot.
Newcastle eventually profited from their pressure when Gema Simon swung in a dangerous corner to the edge of the six-yard box where Rhali Dobson leapt high to loop her header over Davey and into the net.
The home side kept pushing forward with confidence but couldn’t find a second goal as the Melbourne side extended their unbeaten streak to eight games.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Dobson 74)
Melbourne Victory 4 (De Vanna 12, 53, 56, Catley 57)
At Adamstown Oval, Newcastle
Newcastle Jets: Eliza Campbell (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer, 4. Siahn Bozanic, 5. Ciara McCormack, 7. Gema Simon (capt), 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 11. Grace MacIntyre (17. Lauren Brown 83rd), 14. Sophie Nenadovic (3. Stacey Day 22min), 16. Cassidy Davis, 18. Clare Wheeler (15. Elizabeth Copus-Brown 70min)
Unused sub: 20. Claire Coelho (GK).
Melbourne Victory: Brianna Davey (GK), 3. Jessica Humble, 4. Katie Hoyle ( 18. Emily Hulbert 46min), 7. Stephanie Catley (capt), 9. Caitlin Friend (14. Enza Barilla 75m), 10. Jessica Fishlock, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Jessica Samuelsson, 13. Tiffany Eliadis, 17. Gulcan Koca (16. Beatrice Goad, 56min), 22. Lauren Barnes.
Unused Subs: 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK)