Melbourne City’s remarkable W-League turnaround against Melbourne Victory has been overshadowed by a group Victory fans who hurled abuse and bottles at City and Matildas goalkeeper Teagan Micah.
Late in Sunday’s game at Epping Stadium, play had to be stopped for several minutes as the referee, City captain Emma Checker and Victory skipper Angela Beard attempted to calm the crowd down.
It took the gloss off City’s thrilling 3-2 win, which was a remarkable turnaround from their 6-0 loss to the same team a week earlier.
City coach Rado Vidosic condemned the behaviour as “not acceptable” and lauded the referee’s swift action.
“Come here, support your team, that’s brilliant … but to throw things at a goalkeeper, a female goalkeeper – and she’s a Matilda – I don’t think that’s the right way of dealing with the situation,” he said.
“… (Micah’s) OK. She was a little bit shaken. When someone starts throwing bottles at you, obviously it’s not nice.
“This game is televised to America, to China and some other countries and for that to be seen overseas, it just doesn’t paint a good picture.”
Victory counterpart Jeff Hopkins roundly condemned the “unacceptable” behaviour.
“It’s definitely not what we want to see,” Hopkins said.
“Hopefully we’ll deal with that as a club and make sure that doesn’t happen again. It’s not a good look at all.”
On her first start since re-joining City, fringe Matilda Alex Chidiac scored in the 22nd minute, with Victory defender Claudia Bunge handing City another with an own goal three minutes later.
But two spectacular goals – a 47th-minute free kick from MelindaJ Barbieri and Catherine Zimmerman’s long-range belter in the 51st drew Victory level.
Chidiac then slipped a ball through for City teammate Harriet Withers to score the winner in the 86th minute.
Victory’s Lisa De Vanna (hamstring) missed the clash, while City defender Jenna McCormick was forced off in the second-half with a head knock.
Fellow Matildas defender Checker made a second-half return from injury.
Earlier in the round, Sydney FC took outright top spot by beating Western Sydney 2-0 on Saturday.
Mackenzie Hawkesby scored from the spot in the 31st minute with experienced Ellie Brush adding a second in the 66th.
Adelaide beat Perth for the second time in a week to jump into third place.
Adelaide’s Fiona Worts scored in the sixth minute, with Caitlin Doeglas responding in the 53rd before Emily Condon headed home the winner in the 74th minute.
Newcastle and Brisbane will round out the weekend’s action on Sunday evening.