Melbourne maintain W-League lead with victory over Wanderers

Melbourne Victory have earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Victory have earned a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Westfield W-League at AAMI Park.

Caitlin Friend put the Victory ahead just after half time before 16-year-old substitute Beatrice Goad sealed the win with a precise shot.

Western Sydney set up in a compact formation with an attacking press in a bid to deny Victory midfield space while the home side looked to get the ball wide to full-back Steph Catley as often as possible.

Once Victory opened the scoring, the Wanderers threw numbers forward but this allowed plenty of space at the back that was eventually exploited.

Matildas' international Lisa De Vanna nearly created the first goal after only seven minutes, but Catley thumped her shot off the crossbar from just inside the area.

Seconds later, the Wanderers had their best chance of the half as Emily van Egmond's cross found Jenna Kingsley unmarked at the back post, but she miss-timed her jump and couldn't get contact on the ball.

Welsh midfielder Jessica Fishlock fired several warning shots from long range and in the 34th minute her driven shot was anticipated by Friend who diverted the ball on to the crossbar from inside the six yard box.

Wanderers' keeper Dimitra Poulos made two stunning saves just before the break to deny Fishlock and Emma Checker as they battled to stay in the contest.

But two minutes into the half, Victory took the lead as Friend outmuscled her marker and poked the ball past Poulos.

Victory continued to create chances and the game was sealed by Goad with 13 minutes to play after she drilled the ball across the face of goal into the far corner from the tightest of angles.

The win means Victory retain their three-point lead at the top of the W-League ladder while the Wanderers remain fifth, nine points off the pace.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Friend 47', Goad 77') Western Sydney Wanderers 0

HT:0-0

Melbourne Victory:1. Brianna DAVEY (GK), 3. Jessica HUMBLE, 4. Katie HOYLE, 7. Stephanie CATLEY (C), 9. Caitlin FRIEND (16. Beatrice GOAD 73'), 10. Jessica FISHLOCK, 11. Lisa DE VANNA, 12. Jessica SAMUELSSON, 14. Enza BARILLA, 15. Emma CHECKER, 17. Gulcan KOCA , (6. Cindy LAY 88')

Unused Subs: 5. Laura SPIRANOVIC, 20. Cassandra DIMOVSKI

Yellow Card:

Western Sydney Wanderers: 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Shawna GORDON, 4. Camille LEVIN, 5. Emily VAN EGMOND, 7. Heather GARRIOCK (C) (11. Michelle CARNEY 84'), 9. Jenna KINGSLEY (12 . Jessica SEAMAN 75'), 13. Catherine CANNULI, 14. Alanna KENNEDY, 15. Teigan ALLEN (18. Helen PETINOS 41'), 16. Linda O'NEILL, 22. Dimitra POULOS (GK)

Unused Subs: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD (GK)

Yellow Cards: ALLEN 34', CANNULI 68'