Gordon, Hunt net first ALW goals as Wanderers beat Roar
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Kat Smith believes maiden A-League Women 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 ALW 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.