Canberra United are within reach of the W-League premiership after an impressive 5-1 win over Melbourne Victory at McKellar Park.

Doubles to Ash Sykes and Yukari Kinga plus an effort from Grace Maher overcame Christine Nairn’s spectacular half-way strike and put Canberra temporarily into top spot.

United started the match with their trademark intensity, pinning Victory back in their own half.

The home side were finding space both centrally and on the wings with the likes of Hayley Raso and Maher continuously asking questions with some dangerous crosses.

With conditions hovering over 30 you could sense an eagerness from United to put this one to bed early.

However spectators had to endure two drinks breaks before Canberra finally took the lead, Sykes’ mazy run ending on the ground courtesy of Melbourne fullback Samantha Johnson.

Equal with Sam Kerr on 10 goals heading into the match, Sykes put herself ahead in the Golden Boot race with a coolly converted penalty.

With six minutes remaining before halftime, Canberra sought to double their advantage.

A Raso searching cross come shot and needed a touch from Bethany Mason-Jones to tip it onto the crossbar and back into her grasp.

If the first half took a while to get going, the second certainly made up for it as both sides registered goals in the first five minutes.

Firstly it was Kinga who took a couple of touches before hitting her effort off the crossbar and across the line.

The home side had a slight lapse in concentration off the kick-off but that was all Victory needed as Nairn beat Trudy Burke with an impressive long range shot from halfway.

Knowing the next goal would be crucial, both sides ramped up their efforts with some nervy moments at both ends.

Some rash challenges added to the heat of the game but ultimately it was the home side who made the breakthrough.

Not to be outdone by her elders, Maher made sure she was positioned perfectly after Sykes broke and rounded the keeper.

She made no mistake with her finish and all of a sudden Canberra were home.

But like so many games this season there was more to be said.

Both Sykes and Kinga were played in and rounded Mason-Jones before finishing to earn their side a final score of 5-1.

Canberra move temporarily into top spot but will need to wait on results from Sydney FC and Perth Glory today, before they can celebrate a premiership.

Canberra United 5 (Sykes 40′ Pen, 90+2′, Kinga 48′, 90+4′, Maher 77′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Nairn 49′)

Venue: McKellar Park
Attendance: 1256

Referee: Lara Lee
Assistants: Allyson Flynn and Delfina Dimoski
Fourth Official: Adam Powers

Canberra United: 1. BURKE Trudy (GK), 2. KINGA Yukari, 5. MCCORMICK Jenna, 8. RASO Hayley, 9. SPENCER Jasmyne (32. DE VANNA Lisa 46′), 10. MAHER Grace (7. BRUSH Ellie 79′) , 12. BREWER Hannah, 13. BOUREILLE Celeste 14. SYKES Ashleigh (C), 15. CHECKER Emma, 22. OCHS Stephanie (19. FLANNERY Nickoletta 71′)

Substitutes: 7. BRUSH Ellie, 19. FLANNERY Nickoletta, 20. BORIC Georgia (GK), 32. DE VANNA Lisa

Melbourne Victory: 20. MASON-JONES Bethany (GK), 2. NATOLI Alexandra, 5. GUMMER Alexandra, 6. MARTIN Annabel, 9. DOWIE Natasha, 10. NAIRN Christine (C), 13. SPIRANOVIC Laura (11. BARBIERI Melindaj 69′), 16. JOHNSON Samantha, 17. KOCA Gulcan (15. TARANTO Adriana 84′), 24. YALLOP Kirsty, 25. WHITE Karia (7. PRIVITELLI Lia 58′)

Substitutes: 7. PRIVITELLI Lia, 11. BARBIERI Melindaj, 15. TARANTO Adriana, 30.KENSHOLE Emily (GK)

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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.