A Fiona Worts brace has helped Adelaide United record three consecutive wins following a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets at Coopers Stadium on Friday.
Worts scored a goal in each half before Chelsie Dawber converted a penalty and her seventh goal of the season to secure three valuable points and a third clean sheet in a row.
The Reds consolidated third place on the Liberty A-League ladder with 18 points after nine matches.
WHAT WENT RIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG
What went right: Dominant first-half
For the third straight match, Adrian Stenta named an unchanged line-up. The continuity in the squad at the moment is certainly paying dividends with the Reds appearing settled with every player knowing their roles and responsibilities. With stability comes consistency and the team is perceivably gelling more and more every game. Adelaide dominated the entire first-half with the only negative being the fact that the score remained 1-0. Newcastle did have a couple of half chances before Adelaide grabbed two late goals to kill off the game.
What went wrong: Slow start to the second ’45
As alluded to in the above subheading the only flaw, if we are being super critical, was that Newcastle started the second-half stronger and with more urgency. On another day, the Reds may have conceded which potentially changes the outcome of the contest. But all in all, it was a pretty convincing display.
What went right: Worts impressive leading the line
Fiona Worts was brilliant as the focal point in attack. She held the ball up extremely well and combined superbly with her fellow wide players. The 26-year-old opened the scoring with a composed finish into the corner to break the deadlock. In the second-half she completed her maiden brace in the competition by reacting quickest on the follow up after Chelsie Dawber’s run and shot was parried. Worts has now scored four goals for the campaign in her second season in the Liberty A-League.
What went right: Consolidating top-four berth
Adelaide remain on track to finally break its finals football drought after collecting another three points. While there is still plenty of work to do, the Reds have not been this successful to start a season after nine games. A third successive clean sheet to boot a long with a third win on the bounce means confidence is certainly high. Adelaide will now have to negotiate a difficult three-game road trip which will be a real test of their mettle against Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, and Wellington Phoenix.
What went right: Defensive improvement
As mentioned Adelaide registered a third clean sheet in a row. That has not happened since November 2018 and equals the Club’s shutout streak. The centre-back pairing of Matilda McNamara and American Kayla Sharples is becoming extremely resolute now that they have had some matches understanding each other’s movements. They had a combined four interceptions, four tackles, and 16 clearances between them. Not only were they defensively sound, they were also patient in possession – happy to play the ball around the back four and limiting Newcastle’s attacking threats. Goalkeeper Annie Grove has also obviously played her role and pulled off another great save at the death from a free-kick to preserve the clean sheet, while Isabel Hodgson and her namesake Emily dominated with five interceptions and six tackles respectively.
Friday, 4 February
Liberty A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 10
Adelaide United 3 (Worts 24’, 76’, Dawber (p) 80’)
Newcastle Jets 0
Venue: Coopers Stadium