Wanderers’ red-hot Harding sinks Mariners in ALW clash

    In-form striker Sophie Harding has continued her career-best A-League Women’s scoring streak with a double in Western Sydney’s 3-0 thumping of Central Coast.

    But Harding came off in the last few minutes of Friday night’s home game and appeared to have an ice pack on her left hamstring.

    Her header in the second minute of added time at the end of the first half and her left foot shot midway through the second gave her five goals from the Wanderers’ last three games.

    She could have had a hat-trick at Wanderers Football Park when put clear In the 78th minute, but her shot was saved by Casey Dumont.

    It was only the second time the Wanderers women had scored multiple goals in three consecutive league games as she Mariners suffered their heaviest loss of the season.

    The win lifted the Wanderers four places to sixth, above the Mariners on goal difference.

    Central Coast had most of the first-half attempts and as many as the Wanderers over the course of the game, but couldn’t match the home team’s execution.

    Wanderers goalkeeper Shamiran Khamis saved three shots from Rola Badawiya amid several smart stops.

    Harding’s first came against the run of play and the Mariners paid a heavy price for some lax defending.

    Cushla Rue had a heap of space down the right and her accurate cross was headed home by an unmarked Harding.

    Wanderers carried the momentum into the second half, dominating the early stages and doubled their lead In the 54th minute .

    The Mariners’ Taren King inadvertently turned the ball into her own net after Dumont wasn’t able to claim a high cross from the right.

    Central Coast squandered some more chances before Harding goaled again in the 69th minute.

    Harding had scored just two goals in 25 appearances for Newcastle before joining the Wanderers this season.

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