Melbourne Victory have secured a valuable win away to Brisbane Roar in another ruthless display in front of goal.
Both teams looked to take advantage of perfect conditions. Brisbane tested Victory’s makeshift defense through the pace of their forwards.
Shea Connors threatened to get behind the back four and Anna Margraf should have scored when she found herself one-on-one with Casey Dumont. The Victory goalkeeper did well to save and keep scores level.
Melbourne’s best early chance came through Claudia Bunge. The New Zealand defender made good contact with a corner kick but it sailed across goal.
The deadlock was broken by Lynn Williams. Kyra Cooney-Cross put Harriet Withers into space to cross. The American international met the ball at full pace and headed past Georgina Worth to open the scoring.
The same players combined to score Melbourne’s second. Williams’ tenacity and skill on the left set up Wither for an easy finish at the far post.
Brisbane were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Nevin clipped the ankles of Connors in the box. contact was made but the referee deemed it insufficient and waved it away.
Shea Connors sparked life into the game with her first goal of the season. A perfect long ball from Rie Kitano found Connors who raced clear and finished calmly.
Connors and the home crowd thought she had another minutes later but the apparent equalizer was ruled offside as Victory started to tire.
As Brisbane pushed for an equalizer, Williams again hit them with a sucker punch. Her run and low cross made for an easy finish for Catherine Zimmerman to seal the game.
Larissa Crummer gave Brisbane hope in the final seconds after racing through the defense and forcing it over Dumont with pure persistence.
Despite a late surge from The Roar, Melbourne hung on for the second week in a row to secure full points.
DUMONT’S IMPROVEMENT HAS BEEN VITAL TO VICTORY’S START
Returning from a serious Achilles injury is impressive. But Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont has come back an even better player.
She has always been a terrific shot stopper and there was no doubt those skills would remain. However she seems to have added extra pace and athleticism.
Dumont was quick to race off her line and snuff out potential danger, particularly in the first half. Her save against Margraf was a pivotal moment in the match.
Her recent form has been even more important with Victory struggling for numbers and experience in defense. Claudia Bunge and Courtney Nevin are experienced, capable defenders but are not the quickest. In the absence of Kayla Morrison, Dumont’s enhanced abilities have made a huge difference.
LYNN WILLIAMS IS THE BENCHMARK SHORT TERM PLAYER
In her first game and a half back in the A-League Women’s, Lynn Williams has scored twice and directly assisted two more times. The U.S international is only with the champions for four more games but so far she has been the best possible example of what a loanee can provide.
The season is only 14 weeks long. Every result matters early in the season and she has been vital for Melbourne Victory.
Her quality and experience has allowed her to adapt instantly and her form has meant that there is no urgency for Melina Ayres to return from a hamstring complaint.
Two seasons ago, her impact with Western Sydney Wanders lead the club to their first and only finals appearance. She impacts games and seasons.
Short term deals and guest appearances are always of questionable worth. For both the men’s and women’s league, Lynn Williams remains the best example.
SHEA CONNORS IS THE KEY TO BRISBANE’S ATTACK
Brisbane’s American striker was dangerous all game for The Roar. She has all the skills needed to be a success at the top level in Australia.
She has not been able to score in the opening two rounds but her goal in the second half this week was perfectly executed.
She has the pace to beat most defenders in open space and her finish was a composed side-footed effort.
A harsh offside flag denied her a second goal but she remained a constant threat for Brisbane Roar.
She is tricky, clever and confident. Connors plays like somebody who knows they have the ability to change matches and tries throughout.
She looks like a player posed to make a huge impact this season.
A-League Women Round Three, Moreton Daily Stadium
Brisbane Roar – 2 (Shea Connors (65m) Larissa Crummer (90 +4)
Melbourne Victory -3 Lynn Williams (36m) Harriet Withers (46) Zimmerman (85m)
Image Source: A-League Women