ALW Match Preview: Central Coast Mariners vs Western United

Alana Cerne Western United A-League Women

Western United will bring an end to its 2023/24 Liberty A-League Women regular season with a first ever away trip to face Central Coast Mariners on Thursday night.

Match Details

Liberty A-League Women Round 22

Central Coast Mariners vs Western United

Thursday, 28 March

Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT

Industree Group Stadium, Gosford

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play, and on Paramount+

Western United Team News

Melissa Taranto will play her 50th Liberty A-League game and move to 40 appearances for Western United if she features in midfield.

Kat Smith will be without Hannah Keane after it was confirmed she ruptured her patellar tendon against Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend.

With reinforcements needed up front, Smith has recalled Kiara De Domizio into her extended list with the young attacker hoping to break into the matchday squad,

Western United squad: 1. Alyssa DALL’OSTE (gk), 2. Stacey PAPADOPOULOS, 4. Jaclyn SAWICKI, 5. Aimee MEDWIN, 7. Kiara DE DOMIZIO, 10. Kahli JOHNSON, 11. Emma ROBERS, 12. Lucy RICHARDS, 13. Avaani PRAKASH, 14. Natasha DAKIC, 16. Melissa TARANTO, 18. Grace MAHER, 19. Tyla Jay VLAJNIC, 20. Keiwa HIEDA, 22. Alana CERNE, 24. Julia SARDO, 31. Kathrine LARSEN (gk), 34. Catherine ZIMMERMAN

Full Western United squad

Last time out

It was a night to forget for Western United last Saturday, falling to a 3-1 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Keane had put United in front early on, but the Green and Black failed to capitalise on chances before the night soured with the American’s injury and the Wanderers’ comeback.

The Opponent

Central Coast Mariners have enjoyed an outstanding return to the Liberty A-League competition and will be eager to cap their season off with a win at home on the final day.

Currently sitting in fourth place, the Mariners would leapfrog United into the top three and all but secure a home final with a win.

Emily Husband has received widespread acclaim for her coaching of the team, drawing high-class performances from Rola Badawiya and Wurigumula who have scored 15 goals between them.

Matildas star Kyah Simon has added to the quality of their group in the back half of the season, and United will need to be switched on in every department to claim the three points.

Key Matchup: Kahli Johnson vs Peta Trimis

This clash will see two of Australia’s brightest young stars come together in Young Matildas jets Kahli Johnson and Peta Trimis.

Western United has missed Johnson’s impact for a large portion of the season with injury and international commitments limiting her to only 11 appearances and five starts heading into the final round.

Now back to full fitness and looking to build into the finals series, Johnson will hope to fall right back into her early-season form that saw her score twice in the opening five rounds.

On the other side, 17-year-old Peta Trimis has enjoyed a breakout campaign for Central Coast and enjoyed a particularly fruitful period with the Young Matildas of late.

Trimis scored three goals at the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup last month and will hoping to translate that form back into domestic play.

The two young guns will be hoping to outshine the other on the way to helping their side to an important win.

Western United Player to Watch: Melissa Taranto

Marking her milestone moment, Melissa Taranto will be one to watch for Western United as she continues to shine in midfield.

The No.16’s ability to retain possession in the middle of the pitch is a key enabler in the Green and Black’s positive and quick attacking play.

Able to get herself out of tight situations and get the ball moving forward while also looking to join in the attack herself, Taranto has been a vital cog for United this season.

Missing only two games for the Green and Black since the beginning of last season, her consistency and dependability are arguably her two most important characteristics as well.

Representing her family with sister Adriana sidelined after ACL surgery, Taranto will be eager to make it a night to remember in Gosford.