South West Phoenix Firebirds side scores 5-2 victory over Wanneroo in round two

South West Phoenix Firebirds caused an upset on Sunday when they defeated 2017 Champions Wanneroo City 5-2 in Perth.

Firebirds were well organised defensively and too slick in attack as they made it two wins from their first two matches.

Firebirds travelled to Wanneroo knowing it would be a tough task against last years winners.

It looked that way early but Firebirds pace going forward kept them dangerous with Wanneroos defence struggling to handle the pace and movement of Courtney Butlion and Eleanor Coventry.

It was this combination that led to Firebirds opening goal, with Butlion chasing down a long ball and passing to Coventry, who unleashed a fierce drive from 20yards which the keeper was unable to stop. 

The Firebirds doubled their lead soon after when Wanneroos goalkeeper came out for a clearance but miscued it badly, straight to Skye Dalton, who calmly slotted the ball into the empty net from 30yards. 

Despite the early setbacks, Wanneroo enjoyed the majority of possession and kept the pressure on the Firebirds, although they struggled to create any clear cut chances against a well organised Firebirds side.

Wanneroo did get themselves back into the game when they were awarded, and duly scored, a penalty ten minutes from half time. 

At 2-1 Wanneroo had got a lift but as they pushed for the equaliser, they were caught out on the break with a fine move ending with Coventry slotting her second for the match after breaking clear of the Wanneroo defence.

Wanneroo started the second half again with the majority of possession but were running out of ideas as to how to break down the Firebirds defence.

Butlion sustained a back injury which ruled her out of the second half and took away part of Firebirds pace in attacks, but the threat remained, and Captain Lucy Scott looked to have put the game beyond Wanneroo when she scored from close range to put Firebirds 4-1 up midway through the second half. 

Wanneroo came again though, and scored five minutes later to give themselves a life line following a smooth passing move.

At 4-2 with fifteen minutes to go it was getting nervy for Firebirds, but when Katie McDermott played in Coventry just minutes later, Coventry calmly finished the one on one with the keeper for her hat trick and a 5-2 lead. 

It was a great win for the young team and Coach Stephen Suttie was beaming.

“We knew this would be a tough game, and the score certainly doesn’t indicate how tough it was. I didn’t feel comfortable at all until our fifth went in, as Wanneroo kept at us and are a good side,” he said. 

“Ultimately we were well organised off the ball and we had the pace and ability up front to hurt them when we were going forward.” 

Phoenix travel to Curtin University this Sunday as they look to make it three wins from three. 

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