Sydney FC too hot for United

Sydney FC have effectively wrapped up top spot in the Westfield W-League after defeating Canberra United 3-0 on the artificial surface at Seymour Shaw on a day to forget for United, who conceded a brace of own goals and who need to beat Perth next week to be sure of a finals spot.

Sydney FC have effectively wrapped up top spot in the Westfield W-League after defeating Canberra United 3-0 on the artificial surface at Seymour Shaw on a day to forget for United, who conceded a brace of own goals and who need to beat Perth next week to be sure of a finals spot.

It took both teams a while to come to terms with the playing surface with the opening twenty minutes seeing plenty of misplaced passes as the players worked out the run of the artificial turf, but when they did there was lots of action for the decent sized crowd to enjoy.

United threatened first when top scorer Michelle Heyman spun on a volley just inside the area to send a firm shot over the Sydney FC bar with home goalkeeper Dimi Poulos looking on nervously. At the other end Leena Khamis had a shot from distance that proved easy for Lydia Williams before a jinking run from Caitlin Foord ended with a right foot shot that flashed wide of Williams- left hand post.

Canberra responded well and a mistake by Danielle Brogan seemed to have given United a half-chance with Heyman breaking clear, but the cover defence was good and forced the forward into an early shot that failed to test Poulos, but neither side had created anything worthwhile as the match entered the half-hour mark. That was to change though as the home team upped the ante.

After suffering a dislocated thumb to Caitlin Munoz, who was forced to leave the field for several minutes to receive treatment, United were pushed onto the back foot as Kylie Ledbrook, the Sky Blues captain, came to the fore. The Sydney midfielder should have broken the deadlock when she arrived on a cutback but fired over from inside the penalty area before the same player forced a sensational top-drawer save from Williams, the United stopper arching backwards to palm a fierce drive away for a corner.

A nasty spinal injury to Cian Maciejewski, which saw the combative defender taken to hospital for x-rays as a precaution, saw her replaced by Grace Field before the last chance of an open first 45 minutes fell to Sydney. Danielle Brogan pounced on a goalmouth scramble to shoot low only for Ellie Brush to save the day, clearing her shot off the goal line, to preserve the status quo.

It took Sydney only three minutes to break that stalemate and take the lead after the half-time interval and the goal owed everything to Caitlin Foord and a huge slice of luck. The young winger slipped past Nicole Sykes on the right flank and delivered a peach of a cross that deflected off the unfortunate Ellie Brush and into the net leaving Williams helpless.

Canberra-s reply was for Emily Van Egmond to take the reins and pull the strings from her midfield berth and it was the former Newcastle Jets player that fashioned the green-s best chance of the match. Van Egmond sliced the Sydney defence apart to release Heyman but the striker couldn-t beat Poulos in the one-on-one, the custodian diving to her left to push the effort wide.

That miss returned to haunt Ray Junna-s team as Sydney doubled their lead with fifteen minutes remaining. Kylie Ledbrook was the architect playing a pinpoint pass behind the Canberra defence for substitute Catherine Cannuli who nipped in behind the defence. Substitute Grace Field slid in an attempt to clear but could only divert the ball across the line for a second own goal.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 when Kyah Simon volleyed home her tenth of the season from a delightful Lydia Vandenbergh cross to seal the points and effectively top spot on the ladder, shortly after Georgia Yeoman-Dale, on for her debut had sent a wicked cross into the Sydney box.

MATCH STATISTICS

Sydney FC 3 (Ellie Brush (og) 49-, Grace Field (og) 76-, Kyah Simon 82-) Canberra United 0 Saturday 22nd January 2011 Seymour Shaw, Sutherland, Sydney Kick off 5pm

SYDNEY FC: 1. Dimi POULOS (gk), 2. Teresa POLIAS, 3. Danielle BROGAN, 6. Servet UZUNLAR, 8. Renee ROLLASON, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 10. Kylie LEDBROOK (16. Linda O-NEILL 82-), 11. Lydia VANDENBERGH, 17. Kyah SIMON, 18. Samantha SPACKMAN (7. Heather GARRIOCK 55-), 19. Leena KHAMIS (13. Catherine CANNULI 76-) Substitutes not used: 20. Erin HERD (gk)

CANBERRA UNITED: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER, 4. Michelle HEYMAN, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL (14. Ashleigh SYKES 72-), 10. Emily VAN EGMOND (22. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE 82-), 11. Cian MACIEJEWSKI (18. Grace FIELD 41-), 13. Nicole SYKES, 15. Sally SHIPARD, 19. Jennifer BISSET Substitutes not used: 20 Jocelyn MARA

Match Officials: Kate JACEWICZ (referee), Sarah HO, Liz SHORTER, Melinda BELL (4th official)

DISCIPLINE: YELLOW CARDS: 6. Caitlin MUNOZ (Canberra United)