Brisbane Roar midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight was the heroine as the two-time champions secured an important 1-0 away win over fellow W-League title contenders Canberra United.
Kellond-Knight’s early goal proved enough as Brisbane avenged a 3-0 loss against the same opponent a month ago and maintained a share of top spot alongside Melbourne Victory.
Canberra were left to rue several missed opportunities, most notably a first-half penalty miss from American midfielder Lori Lindsey who thumped her spot-kick against the post.
Her compatriot Kendall Fletcher had a header rebound off the post but Canberra largely struggled to find their usual fluency.
It was a third win on the trot for Brisbane who were without a key trio in forwards Tameka Butt and Emily Gielnik and German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, whose replacement Kate Stewart excelled when called into action.
Melbourne Victory’s club record 6-0 win over Newcastle Jets was soured by another potentially serious knee injury for highly-regarded midfielder Ashley Brown.
The 2012 W-League young player of the year, who was playing her first match after a year’s absence due to a knee reconstruction, now awaits a scan on the same knee after being stretchered off in the final seconds.
Earlier, Caitlin Friend bagged her maiden W-League hat-trick to go clear at the top of the goalscorers’ list with five goals from four matches.
Enza Barilla struck twice while Turkish international Gulcan Koca also netted as the Victory crushed the youthful Jets side.
The result continues the Victory’s resurgence following a 5-1 defeat to champions Sydney FC a month ago.
“We’ve improved a lot since that first game, both with a couple of players who have come in but also with gelling just a bit more as a team,” said Victory coach Dave Edmondson.
“Feelings are with Ash (Brown) at the moment. The result is secondary and the way it finished is really disappointing.”
Perth Glory halted a run of two successive defeats with a much-needed 1-0 win over Adelaide United.
Rosie Sutton headed the winner a minute before fulltime following a perfect cross from Collette McCallum.
The match between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers was postponed as the Sky Blues wrapped up their Women’s Club Championship commitments in Japan with a third-place finish.