Reds suffer heartbreaking loss to Wanderers

Adelaide United Women has suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against Western Sydney Wanderers Women in the opening round of the Westfield W-League 2019/20 season on Thursday night.

The Reds opened the scoring through Mary Fowler’s nonchalantly taken penalty, but conceded in the dying stages of the first and second halves to ultimately fall short at Marconi Stadium.

Kristen Hamilton equalised with a clinically taken header before Kyra Cooney-Cross’ 92nd minute set-piece evaded everyone in the box.

Ivan Karlović handed starting debuts to United States duo Julia Ashley and Mallory Weber, while Matildas prodigy, Mary Fowler was entrusted to lead the line. There was also a place for new Brazilian midfielder, Lais Araujo on the bench.

Adelaide made a slow start to the game and were indebted to Ashley for an incredible goal-line clearance.

Cortnee Vine saw her header ricochet off the post before Erica Halloway’s follow-up attempt was blocked by the American centre-back.

The Reds began to grow in confidence though, with Weber going on several marauding runs on the left wing while on the other flank, Charlotte Grant and Isabel Hodgson looked to get forward.

Fowler had a great chance to open the scoring on 27 minutes when she latched on to Grant’s low cross before weaving past a defender and seeing her shot smothered by goalkeeper Abby Smith.

However, the 16-year-old, making her Westfield W-League debut, did not have to wait much longer to net her maiden goal.

After collecting the ball she skipped past Alexandra Hyunh but was cynically fouled by her trailing leg with the referee immediately pointing to the spot.

After a stutter step, Fowler calmly placed her penalty into the corner leaving the ‘keeper with no chance on 39 minutes.

However, five minutes later Alix Roberts got to the byline and her cross was experty headed in by United States’ forward Hamilton, restoring parity.

Adelaide had a couple of decent chances in the second stanza to re-take the lead, but were also thankful to Sarah Willacy for pulling off an outrageous reflex stop to parry Hamilton’s volley.

Vine then hit the woodwork for a second time when her shot cannoned off the crossbar.

Adelaide probed as Araujo was introduced, but could not muster any real clear-cut chances late on before WSW struck in stoppage time.

Key moments:

6’ | CHANCE: Ashley on the goal-line blocks Halloway’s point-blank shot from two yards out.

United States defender Julia Ashley makes a brilliant block to prevent what seemed a certain goal.

39’ | GOAL! Fowler dispatches her penalty with aplomb after being tripped in the box by Huynh to open the scoring.

On debut, 16-year-old Mary Fowler opens the scoring with a confidently dispatched penalty.

44’ | GOAL: The Wanderers strike just before the break when Hamilton heads in Robert’s cross.

50’ | SAVE! Willacy acrobatically tips over Hamilton’s impressive volley over the bar.

90+2’ | GOAL: Cooney-Cross sends in a free-kick into the area that creeps into the far post.

Match details:

Thursday, 14 November 2019
Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season – Round 1
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Hamilton 44’ Cooney-Cross 90+2’)
Adelaide United 1 (M.Fowler (P) 39’)
Venue: Marconi Stadium