Reign’s Jess Fishlock steers Melbourne City to Playoffs

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With the final spot hanging in the balance, Melbourne City interim head coach and current midfielder, Jess Fishlock could not afford to rest her starters. However like all good managers, she led from the front.

Fishlock would have two early attempts on goal as she spurred her players on to consolidate the last spot in the W League playoffs, only to have the Newcastle Jets, a team who could pip them at the post with a win, looking to play spoilers. The Reign midfielder would first hook up with FC Kansas City transfer Erika Tymrak in the ninth with some nifty one-two action, only to see her chip sail over the Jets goalie Katelyn Rowland and crossbar. It would take a fingertip catch from Rowland to deny a looping header from Fishlock before the break.

Chicago Red Stars Jennifer Hoy had two chances in the span of as many minutes. The first denied by City/Houston Dash goalie Lydia Williams, before pushing a shot wide minutes later. The Jets would head into the rooms at the break thankful for a reprieve after City hammered their goal in the final ten minutes of the half.

Erika Tymrak of Melbourne City celebrates scoring a goal with Jess Fishlock (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Tymrak would start up the half, showing no quarter to the home side. In the 56th minute the dam broke and City had their goal. Tymrak’s solo effort began deep in her own half as she took to the length of the field before finishing her shot with style. Newcastle looked to take charge with three fresh subs to use fresh legs and the muggy conditions to their advantage. City were not swayed and maintained a robust defense while managing to attack on their terms.

City’s place was secured when Amy Jackson, who came on for goal scorer Tymrak, fired home a long range shot in stoppage time. Her effort would go through the hands of Rowland who had an otherwise stellar performance for the day and put the remaining final’s spot firmly with the Melbourne side. The second goal was enough to get the final whistle blown, leaving Newcastle’s finals hopes dashed for another season.

Amy Jackson Celebrates

Amy Jackson celebrating her stoppage time goal (via Melbourne City)

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