Canberra look to soar against Jets

Canberra United will welcome the Newcastle Jets to the nation’s capital for their last regular season game of the 2013-14 Westfield W-League season this Saturday.

Canberra United will welcome the Newcastle Jets to the nation-s capital for their last regular season game of the 2013-14 Westfield W-League season this Saturday.

Canberra will come into the game full of confidence, on the back of a three game winning streak, having inflicted league leading Sydney FC-s first loss of the season on Wednesday night. The battling 2-1 victory epitomised Canberra-s fighting spirit amidst a run of three games in six days.

Matildas star Michelle Heyman opened the scoring with one of the best goals the Westfield W-League has seen, collecting a pass and beating Sydney defender Elizabeth Ralston with one deft touch before firing a 25 yard thunderbolt into the top corner of the Sydney goal. A superb free kick by Sydney-s Renee Rollason levelled the match just before halftime, before Caitlin Munoz- 57th minute penalty settled the contest.

Canberra-s defensive unit of Sally Rojahn, Ellie Brush, Catherine Brown, Nicole Sykes and of course goalkeeper Lydia Williams preserved the victory, repelling everything Sydney threw at them late on.

The win is just United-s second against Sydney in Westfield W-League history, and their first over the Sky Blues at home in front of their Canberra fans.

This week-s opponent, Newcastle Jets, come into this game in the midst of a forgettable season, having lost all 10 of their matches, scoring only eight goals and conceding 40, with their most recent result being a 4-1 home loss to Melbourne Victory.

The fixture at McKellar Park on Saturday will be the inaugural Play By The Rules round which will see the Canberra United team sporting rainbow coloured socks in support of the program. Play By The Rules and Fair Go Sport are government initiatives aimed at raising awareness and identifying the need to understand homophobic harassment, discrimination and exclusion in sport, as well as encourage positive behaviours by all stakeholders in sport.

Goals have been an issue for the Jets in meetings with Canberra over the years, with Newcastle having only scored five in nine matches. Rhali Dobson was the last Jet to find the net against Canberra, in a 1-2 home loss back in 2011.

Canberra particularly has not been a happy hunting ground for the Novocastrians, with Canberra winning in each of the three previous encounters in the ACT. The last match in Canberra, a 1-0 win at Deakin Stadium last season, saw left-back Nicole Sykes score her first ever Canberra United goal.

Canberra boast a fantastic record against the Jets, having only tasted defeat once - in the very first Westfield W-League match back on 26th October 2008, where the Jets claimed a 2-1 win. Since then, Canberra have won all other meetings between the two teams, including a 3-0 win in Newcastle earlier this season.

The Canberra United squad takes a different shape to the one that played Sydney FC. Sally Shipard makes her long awaited return from injury, with Holly Houston and Jennifer Bisset being promoted back into the squad for this game.

A home final in Canberra is still a possibility for United, but it will require wins against Newcastle, and next week away to Sydney FC, if Canberra are to sneak into the top two.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4pm, however may be delayed due to heat conditions.

CANBERRA UNITED SQUAD 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Sally Shipard, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 17. Holly HOUSTON, 19. Jennifer BISSET, 20. Trudy BURKE

In: Sally Shipard (returns from injury), Holly Houston (promoted), Jennifer Bisset (promoted) Out: Ellie Brush (omitted), Sally Rojahn (omitted), Stephanie Ochs (omitted) Unavailable: N/A

LAST TIME OUT Saturday 14th December 2013 Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 3 (Stephanie Ochs 11-, 62-, Michelle Heyman 12-)

COMPLETE RECORD 26/10/08: Newcastle Jets 2 Canberra United 1 10/01/09: Semi-Final - Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 1 22/11/09: Newcastle Jets 1 Canberra United 3 11/12/10: Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 1 15/01/11: Canberra United 4 Newcastle Jets 1 19/11/11: Canberra United 3 Newcastle Jets 1 18/12/11: Newcastle Jets 1 Canberra United 2 27/10/12: Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 5 08/12/12: Canberra United 1 Newcastle Jets 0 14/12/13: Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 3

OVERALL: Played 10, Won 9, Drawn 0, Lost 1 HOME: Played 3, Won 3, Drawn 0, Lost 0 AWAY: Played 7, Won 6, Drawn 0, Lost 1