Downer praises world class Lydia Williams

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Canberra United coach Rae Downer heaped praise on goalkeeper Lydia Williams after a superb performance which helped her side to a 2-0 victory on Saturday.

A double either side of half time from Ashley Sykes saw United record a comfortable win over Brisbane Roar.

The result could have been very different were it not for some brilliant work from Williams in the first half.

After pushing Katrina Gorry’s curling strike onto the crossbar and out for a corner, Williams made an incredulous point blank save as Gorry picked up the rebound from Tameka Butt’s attempted chip. Gorry gathered less than ten yards out and looked certain to bury it, only for Williams to smother the shot and send it out for a corner.

United scored on the stroke of half-time to lead into the break, and Downer conceded that they did well to lead against the run of play.

“We started to probably give the ball away a little bit too cheaply.

“All credit to Lydia who put off some brilliant saves in the first half, and then if you’re going to score a goal, then right on half time is a great time to do it.”

Much of the focus in the previous meeting of these teams surrounded Williams, after she fumbled a ball across the line as the Roar ran out 2-1 winners in Round One.

Goalscorer Ashley Sykes refused to let that define the attention.

“She’s one of the best ‘keepers in the world” Sykes said.

“One mistake doesn’t make a career, she’s more than proven herself over the years for us and for the national team”

Downer revealed that Williams wasn’t feeling 100% leading into the game.

“She has some sort of bug or something but you wouldn’t know that, and that’s just the quality of the player” the manager said.

Focus now turns to next weekend’s home clash with Adelaide United and, when quizzed about catching runaway leaders Melbourne City, Downer admitted the pressure is on the competition’s newest side rather than the chasing pack.

“Our job is to win every game from here on in, if we do that then we make finals.

“It’s mathematically possible, we’re not ruling anything out, and the pressure’s on them in keeping up their performances now.”

Canberra welcome Adelaide United to McKellar Park at 4pm next Saturday afternoon.

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David Jordan
David Jordan
Former Media Manager of Canberra United and Central Coast Mariners. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33.

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