Surprise challengers Western Sydney Wanderers made light of key absentees to earn a tough win over Perth Glory and move closer to a maiden W-League finals berth.
Fullback Courtney Nevin was the unlikely architect of the 3-1 win with the teenager having a hand in all three goals at Bankwest Stadium on Sunday as the Wanderers ended a testing week on a high.
A 4-0 loss against Brisbane Roar last week - the Wanderers' first defeat of the season - was followed by a double dose of bad news.
Goalkeeper Abby Smith will miss four weeks with a knee injury and forward Lynn Williams will be absent for two matches after a call-up for USA's Olympic qualifiers.
The pair's absence is set to be compounded with the loan stint of influential Ireland international Denise O'Sullivan drawing to a close against the Glory.
The Wanderers made a perfect start as Caitlin Cooper netted a rare goal in the opening minutes by scrambling home a Nevin cross, and it was a similar story early in the second half as Cortnee Vine did likewise.
Perth midfielder Caitlin Doeglas briefly drew the two sides level with her close-range finish, but the contest was effectively ended when Nevin's speculative strike was deflected into the net for an own goal.
The win leaves the second-placed Wanderers level with Sydney FC, six points adrift of Melbourne City with a match in hand.
Melbourne City continued their dominant form on Saturday with a typically controlled 2-0 victory over Newcastle Jets for their eight successive win.
Newcastle are the only team to deny City all three points this season, but there was little suggestion of a repeat of their 1-1 draw in November.
Striker Milica Mijatovic scored early in the first half and midfielder Emily van Egmond did likewise just after the break as the three-time champions maintained their undefeated campaign with trademark confidence.
Melbourne Victory's semi-final push remains firmly on track after they eased to a confident 3-0 win over Adelaide United.
Prolific English striker Natasha Dowie scored in each half either side of a Rosie Sutton goal to help push last season's premiers level with Brisbane Roar though with a game in hand.
The round opened on Thursday with long-term rivals Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar playing out a scoreless draw in steady rain at Leichhardt Oval.