Melbourne Victory have downed Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at Wembley Park in the Westfield W-League to send Welsh recruit Jessica Fishlock home in style.
Melbourne Victory have downed the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at Wembley Park in the Westfield W-League to send Welsh recruit Jessica Fishlock home in style in her last game for the club after a seven-week stint.
Western Sydney Midfielder Vanessa Hart scored the opener for the Wanderers just two minutes in when she headed into the back of the net off a well-directed Louis Fors' free kick from the right wing to have the visitors' hopes alive early.
But from then on the Victory controlled play, with a wonder strike at the 11th minute from Petra Larsson and two goals from Jessica McDonald, her first at the 51st minute and her second in stoppage-time, ensuring Fabrzio Soncin recorded his first win as Melbourne coach after he replaced Mike Mulvey earlier this week.
Larsson's shot from outside the box was perfectly placed into the top-left corner and levelled the match nine minutes after Hart's opener to give the Swedish midfielder her first goal for Melbourne since joining the club earlier this year.
She had recorded eight assists through the first nine games of the season prior to the elusive goal.
Fishlock relentlessly attacked the Wanderers defence throughout the match but the Victory playmaker was momentarily stopped when Western Sydney's Servet Uzulner delivered a crunching tackle on the midfielder and brought her to ground at the 22-minute mark.
The Welsh woman showed no signs of injury though, five minutes later sending a beautifully judged lob to Enza Barrilla, who set up McDonald in the box, but the striker was unable to put her shot on target as Melbourne continued to dominate play in the first half.
Western Sydney went on the counter-attack in the 32nd minute with a strike from Catherine Cannuli from the left side of the box, but her attempt flew wide.
Melbourne's Stephanie Catley had one final chance before the break but her shot was misdirected over the bar to leave scores tied at 1-1. Seven minutes into the second half, Fishlock set McDonald up with a through-ball to give her a one-on-one contest with goalkeeper Elizabeth Durack and the striker finished with a low-strike into the bottom-right corner to give Melbourne the lead and notch up her fifth goal of the season.
In the 59th minute Fishlock was yellow carded but she looked to have scored Victory's third at the 62nd minute after great link-up play with McDonald in the box until her shot curled just wide.
The Wanderers struggled to execute in attack against the league's best defensive side, which has allowed just 10 goals in 10 matches so far this season.
McDonald's second for the match came from the middle of the box in the 90th minute and took the Victory 3-1 up in front of a record-breaking home crowd of 1257 at Wembley Park, sealing the win in Maika Ruyter-Hooley's 50th match for Victory.
The wins means the Victory have only one loss in their past eight outings as they moved to 19 points on the table.
The Western Sydney Wanderers, meanwhile, are on 13 points and face Canberra next week at McKellar Park.
Melbourne Victory 3 (Larsson 11, McDonald 5, 90) Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Hart 2)
Melbourne Victory 1. Brianna Davey, 2. Danielle Johnson, 3. Maika Ruyter-Hooley (c), 4. Rebekah Scott, 6. Petra Larsson, 7. Stephanie Catley, 9. Tiffany Eliadis, 10. Jessica McDonald, 14. Enza Barilla (5. Laura Spiranovic 75) 15. Amy Jackson, 17. Gulcan Koca (23. Jessica Humble 90+2) 22. Jessica Fishlock (11. Caitlin Friend 90+2)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1. Elizabeth Durack 2. Samantha Spackman, 3. Alexandra Huynh (Jessica Seaman) 4. Alesha Clifford, 5. Olivia Kenney, 8. Vanessa Hart, 9. Sarah Walsh (c), 10. Servet Uzunlar (Linda O-Neil) 11. Louise Fors, 13.Catherine Cannuli (14. Trudy Camilleri) 15. Teigen Allen, 20. Thora Helgadottir