Canberra United return to top four

Canberra United moved to a share of second on the Westfield W-League ladder with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners tonight at Parramatta Stadium.

Canberra United moved to a share of second on the Westfield W-League ladder with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Central Coast Mariners tonight at Parramatta Stadium.

The visitors extended their unbeaten streak to five games while continuing their impressive form away from home.

Central Coast had the better of the opportunities in the first twenty minutes including a shot from Renee Rollason that needed a save from Lydia Williams, but it was the visitors that dominated possession and were eventually rewarded through captain Ellie Brush.

Canberra were handed four corners and eventually made the Mariners pay when Amy Chapman-s driven ball found Brush, who headed home the opening goal past Mariners custodian Emma-Kate Dewhurst after 21 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, Canberra nearly had a second when striker Ashleigh Sykes was fouled just outside the box with the resulting free kick from her strike partner Caitlin Munoz striking the crossbar.

On the stroke of half time, Ashleigh Sykes had her best opportunity of the half when she ran onto a through ball and should have extended the visitors lead but could only find the side netting.

Both sides were egger to get the second half started by returning to the field of play and lining up with no referees in sight.

With a 1-0 lead at half time, Canberra came out determined to extend their lead and nearly did just over ten minutes into the second half when a defensive blunder left Sykes all alone with the keeper.

The number 14 calmly slotted the ball home but was deemed offside despite the ball last coming off the Mariners back line last.

Munoz nearly found the back of the net a minute later after a nice one-two between Chapman and Sykes before the midfielder played a through ball to Munoz who was running but she chance was cleared off the goal line. The visiting side dominated possession and chance for the best part of the second half in search for an elusive second goal.

With persistence comes reward, eventually, in the form of a second goal for Canberra when Hayley Crawford finished off a brilliant piece of football from Chapman.

Chapman weaved her way into the eighteen yard box beating four players with sublime skill before playing a ball across the box to Crawford who calmly slotted home in the bottom left corner.

It didn-t take long for Canberra to add a third when Munoz got her name on the score sheet after finding herself all alone with only the keeper to beat after skilfully controlling a chip over the top from Chapman and finishing far post.

The Mariners best chance of the half came when the home side found themselves two on one but Jenna Kingsley pulled the trigger and sprayed her shot high and wide.

Substitute Christine Walters had an opportunity of her own only minutes after taking to the field but couldn-t finish her chance when Dewhurst made a great slow save on the 89th minute mark.

Canberra United head coach Robbie Hooker obviously delighted with the important result.

”In terms of the league and you look at the results of today, it-s really been an opportunity we took with both hands,” Hooker said post match.

”It-s really put us right in the mix and destiny is certainly in our own hands and not only destiny to make the semi finals but a possible home finals as well.”

The only the second time this season, Canberra United scored more than one goal in the match.

“I-m very pleased because the three goals we scored, one from a set piece was a great goal, really good header by Ellie Brush, and the two other goals were well worked,” Hooker said.

”We showed more composure during the final third, we had a couple disallowed as well, to be honest it could have been 5 or 6 today.”

”To be honest, we owed them that after their victory over us earlier in the season.”

Hooker praising his entire team for their performance on the park tonight in arguably the team-s best performance this season.

”When you-re looking for a stand out, it-s hard to pin point one.”

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Amy CHAPMAN (18. Lucy ALLAN 88-), 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (19. Jennifer BISSET 82-), 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Rebecca KITING, 10. Hayley CRAWFORD, 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12. Kara MOWBRAY, 13. Thea SLATYER, 14. Ashleigh SYKES (17. Christine WALTERS 85-)

SUBS NOT USED: 20. BLASCH (GK)

GOALS: BRUSH 21-, CRAWFORD 72-, MUNOZ 80- YELLOW CARDS: MACIEJEWSKI 60- RED CARDS: Nil

Central Coast Marienrs: 1. Emma-Kate DEWHURST, 2. Caitlin COOPER, 3. Lyndsay GLOHE (9. Ellyse PERRY 84-), 4. Rachael DOYLE, 5. Jodie BAIN, 6. Karina ROWETH (Gill FOSTER 80-), 7. Teresa POLIAS (Elizabeth O-REILLY 65-), 8. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kyah SIMON, 13. Trudy CAMILLERI, 23. Jenna KINGSLEY

SUBS NOT USED: 20. Lisa HARTLEY

GOALS: Nil YELLOW CARDS: Nil RED CARDS: Nil