Ayres double sinks Jets and sends Victory fourth

Melina Ayres scored twice as Melbourne Victory ignited their top four chances by inflicting a 4-2 defeat on Newcastle Jets. 

Ayres opened the scoring with a wonderful instinctive effort and Victory were in complete control at half time when quickfire strikes from Claudia Bunge and Kyra Cooney-Cross established a 3-0 lead.

Jeff Hopkins’ side were comprehensively dominant and appeared to be on course for a routine win but Newcastle did not lie down and pegged a goal back through Tara Andrews early in the second.

Rhianna Pollicina reduced the deficit to a single goal by lobbing Victory goalkeeper Gabriella Garton on 76 minutes but Ayres settled Victory nerves by firing in her second goal late on. 

The result sees Victory into fourth position, where they are level on 10 points with third-placed Brisbane Roar and fifth-placed Adelaide United. Sixth-placed Newcastle are six points adrift.

READ: Hunter brace earns Wanderers a point against Reds

Key moments

Victory started on the frontfoot as American striker Catherine Zimmerman kept Newcastle shot stopper Nicole Simonsen on guard early on, forcing the goalkeeper into a good save after a one-two with Ayres. 

Ayres then put the hosts ahead with a fantastic strike. Amy Jackson’s miscued shot came to the feet of the ex-Melbourne City forward, who took one touch, swiveled and arched an unstoppable effort into the top corner on 13 minutes. 

READ: Sky Blues extend lead with comfortable win over struggling City
READ: Siemsen, Vine and Ibini proving too good to contain


Victory continued to dominate the opening stanza and doubled the advantage shortly before half time.

Newcastle’s Alisha Bass misjudged the flight of a Victory corner, allowing Bunge to stoop and nod home to put the Navy Blue two-up.

And then it was three, when Cooney-Cross steamed up on the outside of Zimmerman on a Victory counter, before driving a clinical finish low and hard across Simonsen. 



Victory have never before let a 3-0 lead slip in the W-League but the Jets established base camp for this particular mountain climb when Andrews registered her first ever goal against Victory.

The striker had not found the net against the Melbourne club in any of her previous 13 fixtures but pounced when Gema Simon’s long ball was not cleared by the Victory defence, leaving Andrews to lash it past Victory ‘keeper Gabriella Garton. 

The game hung in the balance after Andrews’ strike, but having weathered a Newcastle storm Victory and De Vanna wasted an opportunity to regain their three-goal lead.

The Australian international was sent through on goal by Ayres but De Vanna’s finish on this occasion was tame and comfortably gathered by Simonsen. 


Newcastle stunned the Morwell crowd when Pollicina latched on to a clever pass by Tamplin before lobbing Garton, but Ayres eased any nerves by restoring

Victory’s two-goal buffer by taking advantage of some passive Newcastle defending before finding the bottom corner. 


READ: Cornthwaite, Garb on rampant Heyman form as Roar start to build and ‘top three sides’ break away