Western United fell to its second defeat in the 2022/23 Liberty A-League Women season, going down 3-1 to Perth Glory at Morshead Park on Saturday.
The visitors took the lead from the penalty spot early on before Emma Robers’ equaliser ensured the sides entered half-time with a goal apiece.
Despite a period of early dominance after the restart, United was unable to add the scoreboard as Perth found the net twice in the final 20 minutes to clinch the victory.
Mark Torcaso made one change to his starting XI with Emma Robers coming back into the line-up in place of Adriana Taranto.
Jaclyn Sawicki and Angie Beard made their second consecutive starts, as did Danielle Steer in the hope of finding the scoresheet again as she did last week.
There was a strong wind blowing against Western United in the first half and the opening stages mostly consisted of both teams getting a feel for the conditions.
Perth seemed to adjust quicker with the wind at their backs and won a penalty in the 11th minute, which Rasamee Phonsongkham placed just out of Hillary Beall’s reach and into the bottom corner.
The conditions meant that space was available to be exploited in wide areas and United tried to work the play down the left-hand side which brought so much joy in last week’s win over Canberra United.
It was from there that the equaliser eventuated in the 22nd minute as Tyla Jay Vlajnic swung in a deep cross towards the back post.
Steer jumped alongside Hannah Keane and got to the ball first, nodding it down to Robers who fired into the roof of an open goal to get United back on level terms.
The goal helped United play a little more expansively on the ball but Torcaso’s side largely struggled to string together consistent passages of play going forward.
Both sides were limited to mere half chances for the remainder of the first period, leaving the result to be decided in the second 45.
United set about taking control of the match after the break and looked more settled with the ball, finding possession in midfield and looking to move the ball forward.
Vlajnic and Beard continued to link up down the left side along with Hannah Keane who had a threatening cut-back cleared away in the nick of time as Steer was ready to pounce.
The bulk of United’s momentum continued to come on the left with that aforementioned trio linking up, and another big chance came as Beard picked out Sawicki at the top of the box, but Sarah Langman leapt acrobatically to tip the shot over the crossbar.
Perth remained in the game though and slowly began to wrestle back some control as United grew frustrated in the absence of the leading goal, and the visitors found the sucker punch in superb fashion when substitute Alana Jancevski bent in a wonderful free-kick with just over 15 minutes to play.
United threw everything forward in the hopes of taking away a point late on but, as it was all game, the final bit of quality and composure in front of goal was found wanting, and Perth capitalised.
Hannah Blake applied the finishing touch with virtually the last kick of the game as United fell to a second defeat in the Liberty A-League, though remain in top spot on the table.