Melbourne Victory returned to the top of the Westfield W-League after a 2-1 win over Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Friday.
A brace from Natasha Dowie was enough for Victory despite Rachel Hill’s late effort for Perth.
That sent Victory back to the top of the table after its fifth win in eight games as it celebrated Teigen Allen’s 100th Westfield W-League game in style.
Victory made a good start, although it looked most dangerous from set-pieces early on.
Lia Privitelli and Emily Gielnik almost combined twice in the opening 20 minutes, before Ella Mastrantonio’s 20-yard strike forced Eliza Campbell into a save.
Moments after Christine Nairn had tested Campbell with a powerful long-range effort, Victory opened the scoring.
A nice move out of defence led to Dani Weatherholt releasing Dowie, who stepped inside before finishing her seventh goal of the season.
Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont did well to deny Hill in the 38th minute before the host threatened twice before the break.
Gielnik curled a fine strike onto the crossbar from 20 yards before Dowie hit the post from a tough angle.
Victory almost doubled its lead early in the second half, but Gielnik’s effort from Lia Privitelli’s cross was saved by Campbell.
Perth threatened twice through Sam Kerr and Hill, with the latter shooting wide in a one-on-one with Dumont.
Victory continued to push for a second and it was rewarded with seven minutes remaining, Nairn’s cross from the right met by Dowie at the back post.
However, it was a nervous finish as Hill finished off a Kerr pass in the 90th minute, but Victory closed out its win.
Westfield W-League 2018/19 Round 9
Melbourne Victory 2 (Natasha Dowie 35’/83′)
Perth Glory 1 (Rachel Hill 90′)
Victory begins 2019 with a Derby clash against City at Epping Stadium on Saturday, January 5.