Crowd could be decisive factor


Canberra United faces Melbourne Victory in it’s first home game of Season 7 this weekend.

Westfield W-League Round 3
Sunday 28th September 2014
Canberra United v Melbourne Victory
(McKellar Park, Kick-Off: 3pm)

The first home game of Season 7 in the Westfield W-League for Canberra United brings the team face-to-face with Melbourne Victory as last season’s Grand Final winners clash with the Season 6 League Champions in front of the ABC TV cameras and what is likely to be a bumper crowd at McKellar Park. Heading into the weekend Canberra sits proudly atop the league table having won both of their opening matches with the Victory stumbling to a surprise loss to Newcastle Jets before righting the ship with an entertaining 5-3 success over Western Sydney.
Canberra has only ever won its opening three matches of the season on one previous occasion and that was in the victorious 2011/12 campaign when the green machine won all of their first five matches on the way to recording an unbeaten season under Jitka Klimkova culminating in that never to be forgotten Grand Final success at this venue against Brisbane Roar. A semi-final win over Melbourne was a highlight of the march to that showdown and United generally has a good record at home against the Victorians.
Indeed, the Victory has only tasted triumph in the National Capital on one previous occasion, the 1-2 win here in Season 5 but they enter this fixture having claimed the maximum return from the past trio of matches with their opponents. Fittingly however, as befits titanic battles between two of the competition heavyweights, there is usually little to choose in the final reckoning with wins of more than one goal extremely rare across the twelve match series.
Victory’s 3-0 win in Melbourne in Season 5 and United’s 2-0 result in Season 2 are the exception to the rule that a hairs-breadth usually separates these two protagonists when they lock-horns. With talent abounding on both rosters the crowd should be in for a treat when the pair meet again at McKellar Park. United’s early season momentum, spawned off the back of a 4-1 win over the Wanderers and a narrow success at Adelaide United, means they will be full of confidence ahead of a potentially tricky encounter.
Victory appeared to find their groove last weekend with a goal-laden comeback against Western Sydney led in no small part by their lightning fast attack, spear-headed by Matilda’s superstar Lisa De Vanna. Whilst netting five goals will have pleased their Head Coach, Joe Montemurro, the concession of three will have been a slight worry. United will aim to pretty on any perceived weakness at the back and utilise the booming clearances of goalkeeper Chantel Jones to full effect. Expect another tight match between these old foes with little to choose between them at the final whistle. The renowned United home crowd may well prove to be the decisive factor. 
1. Chantel JONES, 2. Catherine BROWN, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS, 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 9. Grace GILL, 10. Grace MAHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 17. Holly HOUSTON, 18. Rebecca KITING, 20. Melissa MAIZELS, 22. Stephanie OCHS

UNAVAILABLE: 4. Kendall FLETCHER (overseas), 8. Meg McLAUGHLIN (injured)