W-League | Canberra not surprised by result, eager for more

Canberra United coach Rae Dower insists her side is just getting started in the wake of their 7-2 demolition of Perth Glory.

United cruised to victory after posting five goals in the first half, three of which came from Ashleigh Sykes who would go on to claim another less than a minute after the break.

Speaking post-match, Dower didn’t seem surprised by the result, pointing to a similar performance last week.

“The first 20 minutes again was good for us today, I think that shows what momentum can do in football,” Dower said.

“Last week if we’re up 3-0 at halftime then the game’s very different.”

The Canberra manager was again full of praise for her side’s character, one that had been up in the air after their 6-1 loss to Sydney a fortnight ago.

“Today we’ve shown that the little blimp against Sydney was that one-off and everyone was sort of waiting to see how we reacted and I think the reaction has been great, it’s been positive.

“We made some really crucial errors in that game [Sydney] but we’ve learnt from them and today showed the type of football, the attractive, attacking football that we want to play.”

Stand-in skipper Sykes was again in the thick of the action but came close to not even taking the field after falling ill days previous.

“I think coming off a big schedule recently I think caught up with me this week,” Sykes said.

“I probably would have stayed in bed all day.”

Dower and United were glad she didn’t, her four goal contribution hauling her side into second spot and herself joint top of the Golden Boot standings.

Despite Sykes stealing the headlines, both coach and player were quick to point out performances across the park, most notably from their youth.

Hannah Brewer was close to United’s best, resolute in defence and refusing to be overawed by Perth’s attacking prowess.

Once again Dower was not surprised.

“I don’t think Hannah’s played a bad game for us all season. She’s probably been one of our most consistent players across the whole field.

“She’s very tenacious, she’s very dogged in the tackle as well.”

Young Matilda Grace Maher got through another 90 minutes and was rewarded with both a goal and the captain’s armband when Sykes departed.

Dower said spectators got a glimpse into the future.

“I think you saw a real sign there to, a very definitive moment of Ash handing on the captain’s band to her when Ash came off because she is a future leader of this club.”

Canberra next travel to Campbelltown to face the sixth-placed Wanderers.

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Third year Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Interests include sports history and stats...you know, all the fun stuff.