United travels to Newcastle to face the Jets in Round 5.
It will be a question of Canberra’s ‘bouncebackability’ this weekend as the Champions travel to Newcastle to tackle the Jets in Round 5 of the Westfield W-League aiming to put behind them the disappointment of defeat to Melbourne City and reinvigorate their title chances at Magic Park in Broadmeadow.
The 2-4 loss to the title favourites at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford was met with real disappointment by the group who felt they underperformed against a side that has been tipped to steal way their Westfield W-League crown. Goals from Matildas strike duo Ashleigh Sykes and Michelle Heyman gave a sense of what might have been but for the second time in three matches this season, the team coughed up an early two-goal buffer for the opposition.
But this United squad is vastly experienced and will be looking to sweep all that behind them as they face up to the challenge of a Newcastle Jets team whose parsimonious defence have conceded just two goals in three matches this season, both coming in a narrow loss to Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 4. Indeed, only a stoppage time winner for the Red and Blacks condemned the Jets to a first loss of the season.
Prior to that Newcastle had started their campaign in Round 2 with a goal-less stalemate against Perth Glory before seeing off Melbourne Victory via a single goal success. Chloe Logarzo and Jenna Kingsley are in the only Jets players to find the net this season but United will be aware of the danger across the park in what looks like a solid outfit.
Rather bizarrely Canberra finds themselves in eighth place on the ladder, just three points off bottom spot, but now enter a run of fixtures which they are confident will push them further up the table and into the challenge for finals football. To do so Canberra will need to better last season’ result when a late equaliser from Tara Andrews earned the home team a share of the spoils in a six-goal thriller.
Earlier, in a ding-dong see-saw encounter, Angela Salem had put the Jets in front on six minutes only for a Katherine Reynolds own goal (13 minutes) and a Heyman strike (24 minutes) to give Canberra a 2-1 half-time lead. Rhali Dobson pulled the Jets level in the 67th minute before an Ashleigh Sykes goal, three minutes from time, appeared to have won the day for the visitors. Andrews’ leveller ensured the match ended 3-3.
A repeat of that would appear unlikely given Newcastle’s tightening up at the back, but Rae Dower and her team will be certain to attack with verve and panache as they attempt to get the three points that could prove crucial.
Newcastle Jets v Canberra United
Saturday 14th November
Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Canberra United Squad
1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 4. Kendall FLETCHER, 5. Jenna MCCORMICK, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Emma KETE, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 15. Emma CHECKER, 16. Tegan RIDING. 17. Veronica PEREZ, 18. Rebecca KITING, 19. Nickoletta FLANERRY, 20. Melissa MAIZELS