Michelle Heyman scored twice as Canberra United swept past Newcastle Jets at McKellar Park in Round 10 of the Liberty A-League. Heyman, Wu Chengshu, Ellie Brush and Vesna Milivojevic, found the net for the home side as Canberra recorded a second win in succession coming out on top 5-1.
The return of Chinese international Wu, in for the injured Grace Maher, was the only change to the starting team that defeated Adelaide United in South Australia last weekend, whilst on the bench Holly Murray was recalled in place of Grace Taranto.
On a blazing hot afternoon, there was little to choose between the teams in the opening fifteen minutes, a dipping drive from Serbian international Milivojevic the closest either came to breaking the deadlock.
But the Canberra faithful didn’t have long to wait to get off their seats as the home team took the lead in the 16th minute. Nickoletta Flannery created it, clipping a pass into striker Heyman who had time to control, before picking her spot to place the ball past Jets’ ‘keeper Georgina Worth for her fourth goal of the season.
United were controlling the tempo of the contest, the Jets reduced to sporadic breaks, so it was little surprise when the hosts went 2-0 up just before the half-hour mark with a goal from returning international Wu.
Flannery again provided the assist, taking on the Jets defence for pace before firing a pass across that goal that was deflected into the face of Wu, ironically just after she had removed the protective mask used following her broken cheekbone, the ball bouncing into the unguarded net.
Milivojevic then forced a good great save from Worth after more wonderful approach work from the on-fire Flannery as Canberra continued to press whilst at the other end Lauren Allan clipped the outside of the post from an acute angle.
Canberra made the perfect start to the second half by increasing their lead eight minutes after the break. Milivojevic had a pop from the edge of the box, the ball deflecting kindly for Heyman who wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity, ramming the loose ball past Worth from six yards for second of the match.
With the match seemingly in the bag, Njegosh Popovich sent on Holly Murray and Emma Ilijoski, rejigging some positions, with Murray taking up a post in the centre if the park. And the Jets fired a warning when Tara Andrews struck the base of the post with quarter of an hour to play.
United weren’t to be stopped though and central defender Brush rose highest to meet a Milivojevic free-kick to bury a heder past Worth for the fourth goal of the afternoon, before Andrews replied in kind, netting a consolation for the visitors.
But Canberra had the final say, Milivojevic guiding an inch-perfect header into the bottom corner to round out a comprehensive win.
Canberra United 5 (Heyman 16’, 52’, Wu 27’, Brush 78’, Milivojevic 90+3’) Newcastle Jets 1 (Andrews 81’)
Canberra United: 18. Chloe LINCOLN, 6. Laura HUGHES, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 8. Sasha GROVE (5. Emma ILIJOSKI 61’), 9. WU Chengshu (4. Holly MURRAY 53’), 11. Grace JALE, 12. Hayley TAYLOR-YOUNG (2. Emily ROACH 81’), 17. Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, 19. Nickoletta FLANNERY (13. Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON 81’), 23. Michelle HEYMAN, 24. Ellen GETT
Substitutes not used: 22. Keely SEGAVCIC
Yellow Cards: NONE