Central Coast Mariners Women fell to a narrow 2-1 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers in the Liberty A-League on Sunday evening.
A late first half goal from Holly Caspers gave Wanderers the lead, before a stunning Izzy Gomez strike levelled the score early in the second.
A cruel deflected cross from Maliah Morris’ proved to be the winner for the visitors, ending Mariners unbeaten start to 2024.
Emily Husband made three changes from the side that started our dramatic win over Sydney FC on Wednesday night. Faye Bryson, Gomez and Peta Trimis returned to the starting eleven in place of Annabel Martin, Tess Quilligan and Shadeene Evans.
It was a tight start to the game, with only a half chance for Wurigumala to report from the opening 20 minutes.
Wanderers’ main threat was proving to be Maliah Morris, she had two efforts in quick succession on 24 minutes first firing into the side netting before curling an effort on to the roof of Casey Dumont’s goal.
Morris came close again just after the half hour mark, her shot coming back off Dumont’s post and Mariners managed to scramble clear.
Just like when the two sides met in Parramatta last month, Wanderers struck on the stroke of half time, Holly Caspers broke into the box and slotted home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Mariners came out strongly in the second half though and got themselves level with a stunning volley from Gomez, her first Liberty A-League goal.
The pressure continued from the Mariners as a minute later, Ash Irwin’s shot from range crashed off the upright, before Trimis saw an effort pushed away by Kaylie Collins.
Wanderers regained their lead against the run of play on 54 minutes, Morris’ deflected cross wrong-footing Dumont and finding it’s way into the back of the Mariners net.
The Mariners pushed but wouldn’t be unable to find an equaliser, Badawiya, Galic and Gomez all coming close.
Wanderers remained a threat on the break but didn’t cause Dumont too many problems after their second goal.
Galic then came close in added time but it wasn’t to be for the Mariners as they fell to their first defeat since New Years Eve.