Canberra goes top after routing Jets

Canberra United moved top of the Westfield W-League, for at least 24-hours, with a record-equalling 5-0 drubbing of the hapless Newcastle Jets at McKellar Park.

Canberra United moved top of the Westfield W-League, for at least 24-hours, with a record-equalling 5-0 drubbing of the hapless Newcastle Jets at McKellar Park.

The title-chasing hosts were far too strong for their Novocastrian guests swamping the Jets in every aspect of play and scoring freely to leap ahead of Sydney FC, who have a game in hand, and complete a week which has seen them claim a maximum nine points from three matches.

The biggest story of the day for the hosts was the return to action of Matildas- star Sally Shipard who had recovered from her long-standing knee injury to stake a place in the starting X1 in place of Kendall Fletcher.

Meanwhile Georgia Yeoman-Dale and Grace Field were also handed starts as Elisabeth Migchelsen rested Catherine Brown and Stephanie Ochs at the end of a busy week. For the Jets, who were beaten 4-1 by Melbourne Victory in Round 10, there was one change as Stacey Day was recalled for Sophie Nenadovic.

With temperatures soaring across the National Capital it didn-t take Canberra long to light a fire under their visitors as they took the lead in only the seventh minute. Ashleigh Sykes perhaps should have scored after turning her marker and streaking away on goal, but her shot was saved by Eliza Campbell. The rebound fell nicely for Michelle Heyman however who crashed in a shot off the under-side of the bar.

And it was 2-0 only three minutes later as the returning Shipard rounded off a sweet team move with a resounding drive, clumping home Lori Lindsey-s square ball after Heyman had freed the American international into the left-hand channel.

The one-way traffic continued unabated as the home team went further ahead just before the half-hour. Again the goal was pure simplicity. Canberra won a corner on the left hand side and Lindsey arrowed an inch-perfect delivery into the six yard box where Ellie Brush was left criminally unmarked to nod in her second goal of the season unchallenged.

The Jets for their part offered very little as an attacking threat, Grace MacIntyre going closest with a miss-hit cross that threatened to loop over the head of Lydia Williams in the United goal, but the shot-stopper was agile and alert enough to palm the ball over the bar just when it appeared that it may drop inside the far post.

There was no let-up for the Jets in the second half as Canberra scored a fourth within two minutes of the resumption. Georgia Yeoman-Dale was the scorer, racing clear of the Newcastle defence and placing a shot past Campbell that bounced back off the base of the post. The speedster reacted quickest to the rebound, following up to slot home her third goal in three matches.

Heyman then struck the outside of the same post with a thumping header from an Ashleigh Sykes cross as Newcastle clung on desperately. The visitors managed to hold out until the 63rd minute when Canberra equalled their all-time record score-line with a fifth goal.

Sally Rojahn can take much of the credit, her surging run culminating with an exchange of passes with Ashleigh Sykes and a square ball into the danger area. Substitute Jennifer Bisset, introduced just before the half-time break for Lori Lindsey, did the rest stretching slightly behind her to divert a delicious chip over Campbell from 15 metres, the ball clipping the underside of the bar and dropping just behind the line.

With the game in the bag United eased off the gas a little but even so Heyman could have bagged a sixth, miscuing from in front of goal after substitute Meg McLaughlin had engineered an opening with a lung-bursting run down the left flank. McLaughlin also landed a late cross-shot onto the roof of Campbell-s net but it mattered little as Canberra topped the ladder.

Canberra United 5 (Michelle Heyman 7-, Sally Shipard 10-, Ellie Brush 28-, Georgia Yeoman-Dale 47-, Jennifer Bisset 63-)

Newcastle Jets 0

Canberra United: 1. Lydia WILLIAMS, 3. Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole SYKES, 14. Ashleigh SYKES (8. Meg McLAUGHLIN 70-), 15. Sally SHIPARD (17. Holly HOUSTON 46-), 16. Lori LINDSEY (19. Jennifer BISSET 44-)

Newcastle Jets: 1. Eliza CAMPBELL, 2. Hannah BREWER, 3. Stacey DAY, 4. Siahn BOZANIC (17. Lauren BROWN 70-), 5. Ciara McCORMACK, 7. Gema SIMON, 9. Tara ANDREWS, 10. Rhali DOBSON (19. Adrianna JONES 70-), 11. Grace MACINTYRE (13. Jasmin COURTENAY 46-), 16. Cassidy DAVIS, 18. Clare WHEELER

Yellow cards: Nil

Attendance: 662