A day of firsts for the Wanderers as they finally end Brisbane drought

Western Sydney Wanderers finally snapped their winless streak at home against Brisbane Roar, thanks to two players who found the net for the first time in their Liberty A-League career.

They say three is the magic number and the Wanderers can certainly attest to that.

The wait for a win over Brisbane on their home deck came to an end on Sunday evening, putting the Roar to the sword 3-1 with a clinical display in front of goal.

It was the first time in 10 attempts at home that the Wanderers had beaten Brisbane – a streak that started all the way back in December 2012.

However, not only was it a maiden win over the Queensland based opponents, but it was a day of first-ever league goals for Western Sydney duo Bethany Gordon and Clare Hunt.


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Gordon got the ball rolling late in the first-half, getting on the end of a lovely bit of work from teammate Sophie Harding to tap in the opener, before Hunt rose highest from an Amy Harrison corner to nod home the Wanderers’ second only moments later.

The goal capped off what has been a breakout season for the Western Sydney defender, whose incredible season saw Hunt earn her first-ever call-up to the Matildas squad – where she starred in their Cup of Nations triumph in February.

“I’m going to have to hear about this all week long! I’m sure I’m going to get plenty of texts about this goal,” her former coach Catherine Cannulli said on commentary.

“I can tell you on the training pitch, she practises these over and over again to try and have this moment.”

Larissa Crummer managed to bring one back for the Roar immediately after half-time, but the Wanderers withstood Brisbane’s resistance and sealed the win deep in the contest with what was the pick of the three goals.

Gordon had her initial shot blocked, before firing home an incredible volley on the rebound to round out her brace and give Western Sydney their fifth win of the season.

It’s been a career season for the 25-year-old midfielder, who has made the most of more opportunities at the Wanderers since making the move from Newcastle – tallying three assists already this campaign to go with her brace.

The Wanderers may not be able to make the top-four from here, but have ended this campaign on a high – turning around a tough start to showcase plenty of green shoots in Kat Smith’s first season in charge.

They will be in action only once more this campaign when they take on league leaders Western United on April 1.

Meanwhile, Brisbane’s finals hopes are mathematically over, even with a successful appeal to have their points deduction wiped as they now sit ten points outside the top four with two games to go.


Western Sydney Wanderers coach Kat Smith believes maiden Liberty A-League goals from Bethany Gordon and Matildas defender Clare Hunt in a 3-1 win over Brisbane Roar represent “just desserts” for their efforts this season.

First-half strikes from Gordon and Hunt set the scene for the hosts at Wanderers Football Park, with Gordon then responding to Larissa Crummer’s 49th-minute strike for Roar with a second in the 79th.

Neither of the pair had troubled the scorers across their combined eight seasons in the Australian top-flight prior to Sunday evening but Smith said their goals were indicative of a season’s worth of work from both the duo and the team.

“It’s nice to be able to put that build-up and that controlled possession into finishing our attack,” said Smith.

“That’s probably what’s been missing this year. It’s nice that it’s clicked in this second-last game for us.

“[The goals] will be celebrated because it’s well deserved for the efforts they’ve been putting in since day one.”

Though it comes with the disclaimer that 2022-23 is the longest A-League Women’s season in its history, the Wanderers’ five wins now represent their second most in a single campaign, trailing only a 2019–20 run in which they won seven.

Though they’re unable to play finals, the win tally represents a marked turnaround for a club that won just a single game in 2021-22.

“To come in and, from where the club was, try and create something; to bring a core group together to look to the future to bring some stability, that’s going to come with time,” said Smith.

“Players and the staff need to take stock and be proud of the progress that we’ve made because you don’t come into training every day not to have growth.

“It’s nice that while there are other measures and metrics you can use to monitor that, at the end of the day it’s about results.

“We can see that transfer now and that’s really pleasing.”

Conversely, the defeat rounded out a miserable week for the Roar.

The Queenslanders’ finals hopes were dashed on Friday when a league ruling reversed their 2-0 win over Western United on March 11 due to Ayesha Norrie featuring despite nominally being suspended for yellow card accumulation.

Roar has signalled an intention to appeal that decision, but was without Norrie for Sunday’s defeat through that suspension, as well as star Katrina Gorry after she returned to Swedish club Vittsjo.