PHOTO: Getty Images
Melbourne City kept their title defence alive with a clinical 2-0 defeat of the Newcastle Jets in Coffs Harbour. It was all City in the North Coast town, dominating the match from the first minute until the last as they prevented the Jets from making the finals for the first time in eight years.
From the opening whistle, the visitors controlled possession, but, didn’t create many opportunities with Lydia Williams and Laura Alleway – at the back for City – on the ball for much of the half.
City had a couple of half-chances in the opening stanza with Jess Fishlock heading straight at Jets keeper Katelyn Rowland, while Marianna Tabain blasted her chance from the left edge of the box straight at Rowland.
With the score 0-0 at the break, Craig Deans’ half-time chat seemed to spark the Jets as they went within centimetres of taking the lead when a Gema Simon corner from the right edge was just headed to the left of the goal.
But, it was at the other end of the ground that the visitors took their chance when the ball deflected to Erika Tymrak after a fifty-fifty aerial duel between Cass Davis and Teigan Allen. Tymrak raced down the centre of the park and finished with aplomb chipping her shot into the right corner over the onrushing keeper.
From that moment City continued to strangle the life out of the match and the Jets, controlling possession, and dominating field position.
The only chance of the note the Jets had in the last half-hour was when Rhali Dobson went one-on-one with City keeper Lydia Williams. Arin Gilliland chipped over the top of City’s high defensive line to Dobson who shot from just on the edge of the eighteen-yard box and rolled it wide to the left.
Melbourne City sealed their spot in the finals late in stoppage time after a horror goalkeeping moment from Rowland. Amy Jackson shot centrally from outside the box, straight at Rowland, the ball slipping through her fingers and over the line.
The first Westfield W-League match in Coffs Harbour in front of 3,570 fans seen Melbourne City taking down the Jets 2-0 and keeping their finals defence alive.
The Jets conclude their 2016.17 season, however, they are all in high spirits with how hard they fought in the campaign especially with the many obstacles they faced during the season.