Brush: Early goals hurting finals chances

Co-captain Ellie Brush thinks Canberra United can make a run to W-League finals but it will need to stop conceding early goals.

Co-captain Ellie Brush thinks Canberra United can make a run to W-League finals but it will need to stop conceding early goals.

United are currently sitting sixth on the ladder, but finish the season with four matches in which they will start as favourites.

Canberra play Perth Glory next week at McKellar, followed by Newcastle Jets, Melbourne Victory then Adelaide United.

Canberra have already claimed points against Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory this season, while Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United are both yet to win a game.

If United can win all those games, it should sneak into the finals in fourth spot – pushing out Melbourne – and would not have to worry about other results.

Brush said the team were confident that they were winnable games, but they needed to fix their defence first.

So far this season, United has generally defended well for most of the 90minutes, but they have conceded a number of soft goals early on.

In four games this season, United has conceded five goals in the first 20minutes. Three of those goals have been within the first 10minutes.

Against Brisbane on Saturday it happened again when Roar forward Jo Burgess was allowed time and space to shoot from outside the penalty box and it just curled under the crossbar, in just the sixth minute.

“It seems to be be happening to us a lot I’m not sure why, but it’s definitely not a good way to start,” Brush said.

“Some of them have been just really unlucky and its shown just what a cruel game football can be some times, but it just keeps happening to us so we need to try and change that, particulary as we aren’t scoring that many goals.

“It just seems small lapses in concentration are letting us down.”
But Brush hoped that after a tough start to the season, playing Brisbane Roar twice and all the other teams in the top-four, their luck would start to turn.

“We’ve had such a tough draw this season, but now these games should be winnable ones and hopefully a bit of luck might start to go our way,” Brush said.

“I think we can definitely make finals, it’s just a matter of putting everything together.”

United will regain Ellyse Perry for this weekend’s match against Perth Glory at McKellar after she missed the Brisbane game through cricket commitments.

Midfielder Emily van Egmond is still unavailable as she is with the Australian under-16 team playing at the AFC under-16 women’s cup in Thailand, while Sally Shipard is unlikely to play this season with the delay on her international clearance.