Sydney FC claimed bragging rights in the Westfield W-League's maiden derby with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Sydney FC claimed bragging rights in the Westfield W-League's maiden derby with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at Leichhardt Oval.
It was a crucial win for one of the traditional competition heavyweights after being held by Newcastle Jets on their own turf in last weekend's opening round.
The match proved to be a good-natured contest despite the Wanderers fielding several former Sydney FC players, plus numerous others who had worked under Sky Blues coach Alen Stajcic at the NSW Institute of Sport.
The two teams made a high-tempo opening to the contest but goalscoring chances remained limited in the early stages.
There was proving to be little between the teams, with Sydney FC's Alanna Kennedy rising well only to power her header narrowly over the crossbar.
It was to be the only opening of the early stages, however it proved to be a portent of what was to come, with the Sky Blues eventually making the breakthrough approaching the half-hour mark.
New Zealand striker Emma Kete, one of Sydney FC's many new signings, made a goal from nothing by finding a yard on her marker just outside the penalty area, before hitting an inch-perfect shot inside the top corner of the net.
At the other end, Jenna Kingsley was a constant threat with her pace and soon forced Sydney FC goalkeeper Sian McClaren into a save after a threaded pass from former Sky Blues favourite Sarah Walsh.
Kingsley then returned the favour for Walsh but McClaren again denied the visitors by racing off her line to make a smothering save.
The second period opened in similar fashion to the first with goalkeeper action at a premium.
However, Western Sydney Wanderers stepped up the intensity, notably creating a good opening just past the hour mark, with Trudy Camilleri firing into the side-netting after Catherine Canulli set up the chance with a deft flicked pass.
Despite the sometimes end-to-end nature of an entertaining match there were few goalmouth incidents as a Sydney FC side struggling for fluency hung on for three crucial points.
Sydney FC 1 (Emma Kete 29') Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Sydney FC: 1. Sian McClaren (gk), 2. Teresa Polias, 3. Elizabeth Ralston, 4. Sam Kerr, 7. Nicola Bolger (11. Annalie Longo 81-, 18. Brittany Whitfield 86-), 9. Caitlin Foord, 10. Renee Rollason, 13. Larissa Crummer, 14. Alanna Kennedy, 17. Kyah Simon, 19. Emma Kete (12. Chloe Logarzo 72-)
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1. Elizabeth Durack (gk), 2. Samantha Spackman, 4. Alesha Clifford, 5. Olivia Kennedy, 7. Jenna Kingsley (17. Alisha Bass 58-), 8. Vanessa Hart, 9. Sarah Walsh (3. Alexandra Huynh 61-), 10. Servet Uzunlar, 13. Catherine Cannuli, 14. Trudy Camilleri, 15. Teigen Allen (16. Linda O-Neill 71-)