After her star turn off the bench in last week’s derby, United States international Lynn Williams marked her first A-League Women start for Melbourne Victory in style with a 3-2 win at Brisbane Roar.
The 28-year-old was the star of the show, scoring one goal and setting up two more, as Victory claimed the three points at Moreton Daily Stadium.
Williams opened the scoring the 36th minute with a headed finish from Harriet Withers’ pinpoint cross. She then turned provider in the second half, setting up Withers in the 46th minute and compatriot Catherine Zimmerman in the 85th as Victory made it three wins from three this season.
After weathering a storm from the home team in the opening phases, Williams’ made it two goals from two games in her guest loan stint at the end of a slick team move by Victory.
Matildas midfielder Kyra Cooney-Cross started the move with a raking cross-field ball to Withers, before her cross from the right landed right on Williams’ head from six yards out.
Williams returned the favour at the start of the second half, her cross from the left eluding Roar goalkeeper Georgina Worth’s outstretched glove to give Withers a simple finish at the back post.
Shea Connors pulled one back for the Roar in the 65th minute but the points were secured for the visitors when Williams slalomed through the home team’s defence before cutting back for Zimmerman to guide the ball home.
Larissa Crummers grabbed an injury-time consolation for the Roar, who are now without any points from their first three matches.
“I’m happy with the score,” Williams told AAP. “I don’t think that we played our best game but as long as you can learn while you’re winning, I think it’s better than learning while you’re losing.”
A disappointed Connors, who also had a second-half strike chalked off following a tight offside call, said after heartbreaking defeats to Perth Glory home and away in their opening two fixtures, it had been another frustrating evening.
“It’s frustrating again to lose but if you look at the result on paper it doesn’t reflect the game,” Connors said. “I think we’re a really strong side and when we get the first ‘W’ I think we’ll be a strong contender later on in the season.”
Victory handed a start to 16-year-old Alana Murphy with Alex Chidiac unavailable due to Queensland border restrictions having arrived back in Australia less than 14 days ago.
Matildas midfielder Katrina Gorry made her first start of the season for the Roar but was taken off at halftime as she continues to build fitness following the birth of her daughter Harper four months ago.
Brisbane travel to the ACT to face Canberra on Thursday in a bottom-of-the-table clash while Victory’s next game is a derby against Melbourne City on Boxing Day.