Football fans flock to Marden in support of W-League Reds

Adelaide United players thanked the fans by signing miniature balls for those who braved the heat. Picture: Adelaideunited.com.au

More than 1000 fans braved the 36 degree heat on Saturday evening to witness Adelaide United secure it’s first three points of the W-League season.

The crowd of 1074 is almost 400 more than the club’s average attendance last year.

United ran out 1-0 victors after Emily Condon converted a spot kick with 10 minutes left to play.

While the home crowd was left overjoyed by the result in the dying minutes of the match, United defender Laura Johns told The Inner Sanctum exposure of the W-League was imperative ahead of the World Cup.

“It was very disappointing to see no newspaper coverage of our game against Perth.

“I feel our team and the club have come a long way and I think this was an opportunity for The Advertiser to show it is serious about supporting women’s football considering it was our first home game of the season.

“To get over 1,000 people at Marden in the heat and in a COVID world shows there is a lot of interest in our matches.

“With the Women’s World Cup coming to Australia and New Zealand, and South Australia still trying to secure games here, it’s disappointing not to have our biggest newspaper support this state’s only professional football team.”

After United’s win over Perth, coach Adrian Stenta lauded his team’s performance, in particular their ability to keep a clean sheet after conceding four goals in a half in their opening game of the season the week prior.

Stenta heralded his side’s ability to adapt to changes made at the half time interval, leading to a much improved second half showing.

“We prepared to play Perth in a particular way and it wasn’t quite working with what they were doing, so we thought we would change a couple of things at half time,” he said.

“Sometimes those things work and sometimes they don’t, but I thought our second half performance was much better than our first, almost a complete reversal of what happened the week before.

“All you can do is give the girls instructions and I thought they really stuck to the task and followed through in the second half really well.”

United celebrate the only goal in their 1-0 victory. Picture: adelaideunited.com.au

The W-League returns for the fourth round of fixtures this Thursday night and this time it is Perth Glory who will play host to Adelaide United in a rematch of Saturday night’s encounter.

The start to the season has been a disrupted one due to COVID outbreaks in the Eastern states and therefore remains extremely open.

Adelaide United will be hoping to make their first finals appearance since the inception of the W-League and Stenta believes that they are on an upward trajectory.

“Hopefully this is a step in the right direction and it’s onwards and upwards from here,” he said following the win.

“Creating chances this year has been a lot better for us.

“It’s something we have really worked on this pre-season and hopefully it continues to come to fruition.”

Dutch defender Maruschka Waldus also made her debut in the 1-0 win and made an instant impact, despite having only trained with the squad four times.

Canberra United remain undefeated and sit on top of the table with two wins and one draw from its three outings.

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