Bethany Ashton’s second-half strike proved the difference as The Gap Women moved top with a 1-0 win over Olympic FC Women at Walton Bridge Reserve on Wednesday night.
It took over an hour but Gators rose to league-leadership for the first time this season, albeit having played a match more than Eastern Suburbs Women.
Defeat stretches Olympic’s winless run to six matches having lost to the same opposition less than a month ago.
Unbeaten in 10 matches ahead of kick-off, Gators predictably started the stronger with Olympic goalkeeper Katie Ronan called into action early.
The visitors wrestled back a share of the initiative throughout the middle stages with Allira Toby leading attacks down the left, although Ashton fired a warning shot narrowly wide of the post before the break.
Both teams introduced teenagers shortly after the restart in the form of Holly Hitchener and Eva Foran with a winner still up for grabs.
The home side came close to opening the scoring on the hour when Ashton and Gabe Marzano combined for four attempts in a goalmouth scramble which Ronan did well to keep out.
However, the two Gators attackers did combine to break the deadlock just moments later as Marzano beat her marker and crossed for Ashton to finish calmly.
Toby was unable to convert a chance to equalise around 10 minutes later and the hosts did enough for the remainder of the contest to record their 12th clean sheet with two matches to play.
Speaking after the match, Gators coach Rob Askew said he was relieved to “hear the whistle” with only a single-goal cushion.
“I think we deserved to win the game but we didn’t create a lot of chances. It was very tense,” Askew said.
Olympic coach Phil Canham pointed to his side’s performance as cause for optimism.
“Hopefully tonight is the start of a turnaround. We’ve got three more tough fixtures coming up and we have to win if we want to make finals,” Canham said.
The Gap FC Women 1 (Bethany ASHTON 63’)
Olympic FC Women 0