Canberra United has the W-League green with envy

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Canberra United has kept up their stranglehold on the 2011 Westfield W-League Season after a 3-1 win over the Newcastle Jets today at McKellar Park.

The dominant attacking display is Canberra’s fifth consecutive win and moves United 11 points clear of nearest rivals Sydney United.

An inspired Sally Shipard scored Canberra’s first before Michelle Heyman’s two goals, either side of a Gema Simon strike, ensured United took all three points against the Jets.

Canberra had the better of the early play and should have taken the lead in the 6th minute after Caitlin Munoz released Ashleigh Sykes through on goal. Sykes’ cut back couldn’t find a teammate however and Newcastle escaped with the scores level.

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Stacey Day forced a sublime save from Lydia Williams in the 17th minute with her long-range strike tipped over the bar for a corner.

Canberra created another solid chance in the 22nd minute after Hemmings turned her defender Stacey Day on the right wing. Using her pace to move up the touch-line Hemmings’ cross found Munoz whose first-time shot flew harmlessly over Barbieri’s crossbar.

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Newcastle were creating little with their opportunities on the ball, often losing the ball cheaply or being forced to play long balls which Canberra’s defence easily handled.

Canberra took a deserving lead in the 29th minute through Sally Shipard after a clever corner by Ellyse Perry. Shipard was drifting around the edge of Newcastle’s box and Perry’s quick pass found the Matildas defender whose first-time shot deceived everyone and found its way into the bottom of Barbieri’s goal.

United were dominant in the first half but there was a sense of missed opportunities for the team in green. Canberra had seven corners and could have doubled their lead on a number of occasions.

Newcastle’s best chance came at the death of the first half with Lisa De Vanna slicing through Canberra’s defence and shooting for the top corner of Williams’ goal. The ‘keeper was up to the task however and pushed the shot out for a corner.

Canberra eventually doubled their lead in the 64th minute after a great piece of counter-attacking football. Heyman sent Barbieri the wrong way with a glancing header at the back post after Sally Shipard was released down the right wing. Shipard had plenty of time to look up, measure her cross and found Heyman who dispatched the ball for her sixth goal of the season.

Gema Simon pulled one back for the Jets against the run of play in the 77th minute with a brilliant, curled strike nearly Canberra’s touchline. After finding the ball alone at the back post, Simon cut the ball onto her right foot and her curling shot hit Williams’ post and found its way into the net.

Canberra regained their two-goal cushion in the 81st minute when Heyman scored her second for the day and seventh for the year. Ellyse Perry received the ball on the right wing and the young Australia international’s pin-point cross found Heyman whose header beat Williams.

United had a number of good chances to further increase their lead as Newcastle tired late on. Canberra had wave after wave of attacks at Barbieri’s goal but just couldn’t capitalise on the pace of their counter-attacking play.

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