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Reds claim Wanderers scalp after dominant first-half display

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Adelaide United Women have recorded their first win of the campaign after dispatching second-place Western Sydney Wanderers Women 3-2 at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday night.

Chelsie Dawber opened the scoring in clinical fashion and Mallory Weber added a quick-fire brace just before half-time to seal a dominant victory.

Sam Staab scored a back-post header in the 88th minute and an own goal from a corner made the final minute interesting but ultimately Adelaide held on.

Ivan Karlović made three changes to his starting XI while implementing a new look 3-4-3 formation. Matilda McNamara made her season debut in defence replacing the injured Julia Ashley, while Charlotte Grant featured at right-back. Georgia Campagnale was brought into midfield with Emily Condon shifting to the wing. Mary Fowler also returned from injury to the bench.

The Reds implemented a high press which put the Wanderers defence under enormous pressure.

But perhaps the biggest surprise was the tactical decision by Karlović to deploy Lais Araujo, traditionally an attacking midfielder, as a third centre-back.

The decision paid dividends with Western Sydney struggling to create chances and threaten the Adelaide defence.

The Reds were dangerous in attack, applying pressure and won the ball back a number of times via turnovers and tackles.

Weber pounced on a heavy touch before playing a pass to Condon and her effort thundered off the crossbar six minutes into proceedings.

But United would not have to wait much longer to break the deadlock.

Dawber tackled her opponent and ran through on goal and clinically finishing into the bottom corner for her second of the campaign.

Weber then finally got on the scoresheet on 39 minutes when she completed a swift attacking move. Laura Johns isolated her defender and slipped through Condon, whose square pass was tapped in by the American.

And the 25-year-old bagged her second on the stroke of half-time with a coolly taken goal after controlling a long ball from McNamara.

Adelaide were largely untroubled in the second stanza until the final 10 minutes and could have increased their advantage.

Weber had the ball into the net but it was ruled out for offside before having another great chance to bag a hat-trick, though was denied by a superb tackle.

Wanderers squandered a penalty after Kristen Hamilton blazed her attempt over the bar.

However, the visitors would grab a goal back through Staab’s late header and then an Araujo own goal from a corner.

But despite the nervous ending, United managed to claim what was a deserved three points.

Key moments:

17’ | GOAL! Dawber dispossesses her defender and races through on goal, dispatching her finish into the bottom corner.

https://players.brightcove.net/5498268479001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6126458837001

39’ | GOAL! Weber doubles the lead with a simple tap-in from Condon’s low cut-back from the byline.

https://players.brightcove.net/5498268479001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6126455924001

45+1’ | GOAL! Weber gets her second after controlling a long pass from McNamara and calmly finishes past Newbon.

https://players.brightcove.net/5498268479001/default_default/index.html?videoId=6126462266001

81’ | MISS! Hamilton skies the penalty over the crossbar.

88’ | GOAL: Staab is left unmarked at the back post and squeezes her header home.

90+3’ | GOAL: It’s an own goal from Araujo and it ricochets off the Brazilian from the corner.

Match details:

Saturday, 25 January 2020
Westfield W-League 2019/20 Season – Round 11
Adelaide United Women 3 (Dawber 17’ Weber 39’ 45+1’)
Western Sydney Wanderers Women 2 (Staab 88’ Araujo OG 90+3’)
Venue: Marden Sports Complex
Attendance: 569