City women back on track with narrow win over Victory in hard-fought derby triumph

Melbourne City have got their W-League title defence back on track following the heavy round one loss to Perth Glory by defeating local rivals Melbourne Victory 1-0 in a closely contested affair at AAMI Park.

City has had their goalkeeping woes early in the season, and coach Paddy Kisnorbo must surely have had his heart in his mouth when Matildas No.1 Lydia Williams, available again after missing last week, writhed in pain early in the game following a clash with Victory's Lia Privitelli.

The goalkeeper proved able to continue - and it was just as well for her team that she did, as she subsequently made a couple of excellent saves to deny Victory a first-half lead.

Not that City were without opportunities in an opening period where both teams had spells of pressure and City enjoyed the possession advantage.

City skipper Jessica Fishlock was almost set up by Victory defender Kristen McNabb's heavy touch, but the centre-back redeemed herself with a strong challenge.

City's Alanna Kennedy volleyed across the face of goal, then Victory keeper Casey Dumont denied Yukari Kinga's shot after the Japanese midfielder had been set up by City's American forward, Ashley Hatch.

At the other end Williams made a tremendous flying save from Ga Eul Jeon's header after City failed to clear, and moments later made another excellent stop after the ball ricocheted around following a corner.

Jeon tested Williams shortly after the restart while Dumont was pressed into action to again deny Fishlock.

Kennedy went close with a free kick 18 minutes from time, the ball just flashing wide of the post. The defender then picked up a yellow card when she hauled back Victory's 15-year-old Kyra Cooney-Cross as she shot.

Moments later City broke the deadlock after a sweeping 82nd-minute move that saw substitute Rhali Dobson released into space on the right. Her cross to the far post was met by right-back Rebekah Stott, who got up to power home a header from close range.

Williams then saved her team twice as Victory pressed forward in vain in search of a leveller but Dumont also produced a terrific save to fingertip Fishlock's long-range drive on to the post.

This story City women back on track with narrow win over Victory in hard-fought derby triumph first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.