The unexpected late addition of Amy Harrison proved to be a match winner for Macarthur Rams as they consigned Illawarra Stingrays to a 2-1 defeat on Sunday.
Harrison was given special clearance outside the transfer window to play in the round six clash late on Friday afternoon and made an immediate impact at Lynwood Park.
The Matildas young gun scored a goal and assisted a second to help her side down the in-form Rays.
Harrison’s opener had the Rams 1-0 up at the break before Kristina Maksuti doubled the hosts advantage early in the second stanza.
Illawarra scored through Emma Rolston with 15 minutes remaining but couldn’t muster an equaliser in the closing stages.
Stingrays coach Brett Wallin felt the late arrival of Harrison played a crucial role in his side’s defeated.
However, he admitted his squad didn’t play to their potential against the ladder-leaders.
“We didn’t play well,” he said.
“We are a lot better than that and I went into the game expecting us to win. Based on what happened, I still believe that.
“We didn’t play to the best of our ability and we were missing a key player [Erica Halloway].
“Our passing wasn’t good enough. We gave them too much ball in key errors and didn’t get rid of the ball when we should have.
“It was disappointing.”
The loss sees the Stingrays slid just outside the top-four and ended a run of three straight victories in the NSW women’s top flight. They meet the Emerging Jets next weekend.