Written by the Football Federation Australia
Melbourne Victory have moved up to second on the Westfield W-League table after beating the Newcastle Jets 1-0 in an entertaining affair at Epping Soccer Stadium on Saturday night.
The match-breaker came in the 82nd minute when woman of the match Brittany Timko made the most of a Newcastle defensive blunder to put the ball in the back of the net.
The mix-up occurred when Jets goalkeeper Alison Logue came off her line in an attempt to collect an awkward ball before it spilled free to Timko after Newcastle's Joanne Peters tangled with Melbourne forward Rebecca Tegg.
Logue was left way off her line and allowed Canadian Timko to pounce on the loose ball and slot it home from outside the area.
The result ensures a top-of-the-table clash between Melbourne and Queensland next week at Bob Jane Stadium.
The game was a case of two halves with the visitors having more than their fair share of chances in the opening period before the Victory came to life after the interval to dominate proceedings in the second 45 minutes.
"I felt we were a little disorganised in the midfield in the first half and I think we had a chat about that at half-time and the girls really raised it in the second half," Victory coach Matt Shepherd said.
Newcastle coach Gary Phillips was left to lament the poor defending which led to the only goal of the match.
"I think we had three chances to clear it and if that happens at this level you're going to get punished," he said.
Newcastle made the first few attacking plays of the match including a lovely run from Emily van Egmond which saw her cleverly avoid three defenders on the edge of the box before delivering a tame shot on goal.
But Melbourne created the first genuine chance of the game when Marlies Oostdam dispatched a threatening free kick into the area in the sixth minute which found the head of Daniela Digiammarco, only for the ball to fly past the right post.
The Jets thought they hit the lead when Cheryl Salisbury went on a run up the left and crossed it to Katie Gill who headed the ball into the back of the net, but Gill was deemed to be in an offside position.
A few minutes later van Egmond tried her luck with the outside of her right foot and although the ball beat Melbourne goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri, it rolled past the right post.
Van Egmond was proving to be very dangerous up forward initially but fell away as the match wore on.
Jet Nicole Jones was the other standout of the half, causing Melbiurne numerous headaches down the right wing.
Aside from Timko's goal, the highlight of the match came in the 23rd minute when Newcastle's Kirstyn Pearce caught Barbieiri off her line and had a shot from halfway, forcing Barbieri into an acrobatic fingertip save which saw the ball hit the crossbar and go out of play.
Newcastle looked a lot more threatening going forward and had more structure in attack than the Victory.
The Jets were also helped by their defence which effectively shut down attacking Melbourne moves, making it tough for Victory to have any good shots on goal.
Melbourne's best first-half chance to take the lead came in the 42nd minute when Sophie Hogben headed the ball towards the goal from a corner kick which had Logue beaten, but Amber Neilson was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
Neither side was able to make the most of their opportunities and a free-flowing first half ended 0-0.
There was more of the same in the second half with both teams creating goal-scoring opportunities but few of the initial chances looked all that threatening.
The Victory came out a lot stronger after half-time and had the better of the Jets for most of the second period but wasted many chances before scoring the goal.
The best of which were set up by Timko in the 56th and 67th minute respectively.
In the first instance, Timko delivered a tantalising cross to Tegg but the latter wasn't able to connect inside the six-yard box and the ball was collected by Logue.
The second saw Timko go on a delightful run up the right win only for her cross to be wasted by Sarah Groenewald whose header didn't have enough power on it to trouble the Jets custodian.
But eight minutes before full-time Timko capped off a memorable match when she capitalised on some nightmarish defending by Logue and Peters.
The Victory host the Roar next Saturday in the match of the round while Newcastle will meet Adelaide United at Wanderers Oval next Sunday.