Canberra United snatch point from Victory

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Melbourne Victory and Canberra United have played out an exciting 1-1 draw in front of Victory’s largest home crowd of the season in the Westfield W-League on Friday.

Over 600 people crammed into the Veneto sports club to see the visit of star studded, top of the table Canberra United and the home crowd were entertained from the outset. Melbourne had three shots on goal in the first five minutes with Ash Brown and Jodie Taylor both firing.

The game wasn’t ten minutes old when Melbourne Victory were awarded a penalty. Ashleigh Sykes bought down Kendall Fletcher, Captain and The Football Sack blogger Jodie Taylor took the responsibility, cooly slotting home past United ‘keeper Lydia Williams to give Melbourne a well deserved 1-0 lead.

Victory continued to apply pressure and should have been two goal ahead when Taylor again went one on one with Williams, this time scuffing the shot. The game continued at a high tempo with both teams forcing the respective ‘keepers into action. On the half hour mark Canberra were desperately unlucky not to equalise when a quick reacting Rebekah Stott cleared a Michelle Heyman shot off the line. Six minutes later Fletcher had a shot brilliantly saved by Williams and right on the half time whistle a Sykes shot was equally well saved by Brianna Davey to keep the scores at one each into the break.

Canberra United celebrate after Michelle Heyman equalises

The second half was played at a much slower tempo as the players became tired in the afternoon heat which hovered just under 30 degrees. That didn’t stop Victory however as they again peppered the goal with Taylor smashing the crossbar with a curling free kick that left Williams no chance. Taylor again was one on one with her foe Williams on the hour mark and again failed to score. Taylor and Melbourne were left to rue those missed opportunities when W-League leading scorer Heyman slotted one past Davey from a long Ellyse Perry corner. Heyman was left alone directly in front on the edge of the area. The clinical finish tied the game at 1-1 .

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Melbourne could count themselves very unlucky not to have a second penalty when Taylor looked to have been brought down with two minutes remaining. On the flip side though Taryn Hemmings for Canberra had her shot wonderfully saved by Davey in time added on. Davey was textbook in her approach, staying big for as long as possible and at the end of the match was the difference between the two sides. The game ended in a draw which keeps Canberra on top whilst Melbourne sit fourth on the table.

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