MATCH REPORT: Lydia Williams manages Westfield Matildas to FIFA victory
Led by debutante e-manager Lydia Williams, the Westfield Matildas prevailed 1-0 in a close battle against a Football Ferns team e-managed by Rebekah Stott.
Williams used Katrina Gorry’s long range goal scoring prowess to her advantage with the midfielder’s first half goal enough for victory on Thursday night.
The Melbourne City teammates and housemates played out a tight and tense match with both looking to claim bragging rights in the new arena.
Stott looked to have taken the lead within the opening minutes as she orchestrated an early shot from Sarah Gregorious, but Williams was waiting on the opposite end of the kick with an easy save.
Hayley Raso’s attempt after receiving the cross from Sam Kerr was deflected by Sarah Morton to deny the Westfield Matildas chance of opening the scoring to the frustration of e-manager Williams.
Tensions flared in the loungeroom as Stott failed to retain possession in the midfield. When her side were able to bring the ball down into their attacking front, Williams again was there behind the controller and in the digital net to deny New Zealand the opener.
The next opportunity also went the way of the Football Ferns. This time, Amber Hearn found space in the backline but the shot on target fell again into the hands of Williams.
E-manager Williams finally found a look at the Football Ferns’ goal with shots from Lisa De Vanna, Raso and Emily van Egmond, who all failed also to gain the lead for the Aussies.
The breakthrough came in the final stages of the first half when some crisp controller work from Williams saw her tee up Katrina Gorry. In some space, Gorry unleashed from outside the box with the excitement bringing Williams to her feet.
Stott and her Football Ferns had a bit of work to do in the second half to at least find the equaliser. Hearn was utilised to take took an early shot in the opening minutes, but Williams dominance in the net continued.
The second half saw no clear opportunity for either side to add to the score board, as both sides continued to take the midfield battle to the other.
With desperation etched on her face, Stott has she may have gone close to the equaliser, but instead handed Australia a throw in which allowed Williams to keep possession for the remainder of the match.
Williams held her 1-0 victory and takes bragging rights of winning the first match of a three-match e-series.