Canberra edge closer to top four

Canberra United edged closer to the top four with a 1-1 draw against the Central Coast Mariners in Round Five of the Westfield W-League at Canberra Stadium.

Canberra United edged closer to the top four with a 1-1 draw against the Central Coast Mariners in Round Five of the Westfield W-League at Canberra Stadium.

First half goals to Ellie Brush and Mariner-s Kendall Fletcher the only strikes of the match as Canberra United increased their undefeated streak to three matches.

The Canberra side could not have dreamt of a better start when Brush converted from the penalty spot after Ashleigh Sykes was brought down in the penalty area after only two minutes.

After narrowly missing a quickly taken free kick from the edge of the 18-yard box minutes later, the Mariners levelled the scores after 20 minutes when Kendall Fletcher found space with a nice turn before slotting her shot just inside the far post.

The physical contest was taking its toll on Canberra with first Ellie Brush leaving the field of play and returning before a lunge from Lin Chiung Ying inside the penalty area saw her stretchered off and replaced by Kahlia Hogg after half an hour.

Neither side could gain the ascendancy is the first half with possession fairly even however it was the Mariners who had the better of the chances late in the half and threatened to take the lead.

Ten minutes from half time, a header from Mariners- Kelly Golebiowski was cleared off the line by Jennifer Bisset after Lydia Williams was beaten.

Canberra looked dangerous in attack with Tseng Shu O again proving difficult for the opposition backline to handle and created plenty of attack by forcing a lot of turnovers with pressure up field.

Chances were few and far between early in the second half with neither keeper troubled as good chances couldn-t find the target.

Tseng had a shot after racing down the right hand touch line but narrowly missed the right post before Ashleigh Sykes had a chance of her own fifteen minutes later.

A great ball into the box found Sykes surrounded by defenders but great control saw the striker take a touch and turn the defenders before her shot was struck just wide.

Moments later it was Canberra on the attack again down the left hand side before a switch in play found Ellyse Perry, who was moved up into midfield in the absence of Emily Van Egmond, who-s first time shot narrowly missed.

The Mariners best chance of the half feel for Fletcher in the 70th minute when the striker found space and the ball at her feet inside the 18-yard box but her shot from an acute angle was palmed away by Williams diving to her left.

Both sides continued to push forward in search for a late equaliser and it was Ashleigh Sykes who had two late but difficult chances with headers.

The first came in the 78th minute when Tseng found room to cross from the left wing but her powerful cross was to quick as Sykes could only head high and wide.

The second chance came in injury time, again, Tseng was the provider but this time her cross found Hogg at the back post who headed back across the face of goal to Sykes who headed wide under enormous pressure.

Neither club could find the target as the match finished level in the first ever women-s national league match played at Canberra Stadium.

Canberra United will be counting the cost of this afternoon-s fixture with the injury toll sure to rise and early indications suggest that Lin will be sidelined for the remainder of the season.

The Chinese Taipei import suffering a ruptured ACL ligament in her right knee mid way through the first half.

Head coach Ray Junna was relatively pleased with point against the second placed Central Coast Mariners but believes the full complement of points wasn-t out of the question.

“If you had asked me a half time I would have taken the draw but with the number of chances we created in the second half I-m a little bit disappointed with just the point,” Junna said.

“However, we-re still going up [towards the top four] with the point so I-m reasonably happy.”

Match Details:

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Fletcher 20-) Canberra United 1 (Brush 3-(p))

Canberra, ACT

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Jullian LOYDEN, 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 71-), 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN (16. Jenna KINGSLEY), 12. Samantha SPACKMAN, 14. Ashleigh CONNOR, 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH

Subs Not Used: 17. Britt SIMMONS, 20. Rachel COOPER Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil

Canberra United 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Rebecca KITING, 4. LIN Chiung Ying (5. Kahlia HOGG 30-), 7. Ellie BRUSH (3. Bronwyn STUDMAN 68-), 9. Grace GILL, 10. TSENG Shu O, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI (12. Snez VELJANOVSKA 89-), 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Nicole SYKES, 16. Ellyse PERRY, 19. Jennifer BISSET

Subs not used: 20. Jocelyn MARA Yellow Cards: Bisset 21- Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Kate JACEWICZ