An early Christmas present

The Lady Reds' first win of the season has brought some much-needed seasonal cheer to Adelaide.

It-s that time of year when we long for a story that will warm the cockles of our heart. A time when everyone wants news that helps them to forget what a hard-nosed, cynical world we sometimes live in.

On Saturday afternoon the Adelaide United Westfield W-League side, delivered the football version of exactly that.

They didn-t win the league, didn-t lift a trophy - but at Burton Park in week 9 of the 2011 W-League season, the Lady Reds chalked up all three points in their match.

To the uninitiated, that news is unremarkable in itself, but for Adelaide fans it was cause for frenzied celebration - putting an end to a winless streak stretching back to 9 November, 2008.

That-s right - they haven-t won a match in 34 outings and were sitting stone motherless last on the table, having been unable to even draw a match in more than two years - some 19 games.

I-d like to claim Nostradamus-like qualities, having predicted good things to come for the Reds in this column over a month ago - but those in the know, will say it-s been threatening for a while.

There has been a new energy about the Reds this year. Unwanted by the new owners of their male counterparts and taken over by Football Federation South Australia, the 11th hour appointment of Dave Edmondson to lead the side has proved a wonderful decision.

ABC TV covered the week 6 match between Adelaide United and Sydney FC where goalkeeper Sian McLaren cut a dejected figure post-game, having all but gifted the sky blues a couple of goals in their 4-1 win.

Long after the final whistle had gone, Edmondson could be seen with his arm around the shoulder of his keeper, encouraging her and assuring her there were better times ahead.

So maybe he is the one with psychic abilities - two weeks later, I conducted a "player of the match" interview with that same goalkeeper.

And for the record, it-s not often that the person between the sticks on the losing team, gets Woman of the Match honours.

But it-s not just the administration, not just the recruitment of a coach in for the long haul, or just the work of just one player.

And while no one denies Katherine Ebbs the opportunity to celebrate her first W-League goal (and hey, if you are going to have a debut goal that is certainly the match to score it in), it-s been what we love to call in the sporting world, a "team effort".

The Lady Reds haven-t reinvented the wheel - heck, they may even still pick up the wooden spoon this year - but as far as feel-good stories go, this is up there with the best of them.

Merry Christmas Ladies!