Sykes brace gives Canberra United win over Roar

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Canberra United snatched their third win in a row on Saturday as an Ashley Sykes brace saw off Brisbane Roar in the W-League encounter at a hot McKellar Park.

Drinks breaks in each half proved the only relief for the Roar as they finished with ten-women, conceding goals either side of half time to taste bitter defeat.

The first 45 minutes was filled with half-chances, the visitors striking the bar twice. Katrina Gorry had a fierce strike tipped onto the frame by Lydia Williams in goal, before Tameka Butt attempted to chip the Canberra custodian with the ball rattling off the crossbar.

A goalless first period was almost complete for Canberra before Williams began a streaking counter attack down the left. Michelle Heyman cut a ball to the back post for Sykes to tuck home her third goal of the season and open the scoring in the 45th minute.

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Tempers flared after the break as Brisbane began to chase the game, with Kirsty Yallop booked ten minutes into the half for a succession of fouls.

The half continued mostly in Canberra’s favour, the home side pressing high and causing mistakes in the Roar backline.

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When the visitors did push out they were often contained and then punished on the counter attack. Caitlin Munoz did just that in the 60th minute as she released Sykes down the right. The striker held off her defender well before finishing tidily inside the far post to give Canberra a 2-0 advantage.

Just ten minutes after the goal Brisbane’s afternoon took a further turn for the worse as Yallop was dismissed for her second yellow.

Roar refused to lie down and pushed to pull one back however poor decisions in the final third and the lack of a killer pass conspired against them.

The warm Canberra afternoon saw the game slow down in the final ten minutes with energy shown mainly by substitutes. Canberra youngster Nickoletta Flannery blew past two Roar defenders to set up a ball for Heyman, but the striker could only manage a slight touch to no avail.

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The impressive win sees Canberra maintain their grip on second spot in the Westfield W-League as they continue to chase the runaway Melbourne City. United welcome Adelaide to McKellar Park next weekend, whilst the Roar flounder in eighth spot on the table, struggling to break a poor run of form.

CANBERRA UNITED: 1. WILLIAMS Lydia (GK), 4. FLETCHER Kendall, 5. MCCORMICK Jenna, 6. MUNOZ Caitlin, 7. BRUSH Ellie, 11. HEYMAN Michelle, 13. BEGG Nicole, 14. SYKES Ashleigh, 15. CHECKER Emma, 17. PEREZ Veronica, 18. KITING Rebecca

SUBS: 2. BROWN Catherine, 3. DE ANGELIS Julia, 19. FLANNERY Nickoletta, 20. MAIZELS Melissa

BRISBANE ROAR: 3. CHAPMAN Amy, 4. POLKINGHORNE Clare, 6. BEARD Angela, 7. MARZANO Gabrielle, 10. GORRY Katrina, 11. YALLOP Kirsty, 13. BUTT Tameka, 14. O’BRIEN Summer, 15. BLACKBURN Ruth, 17. GIELNIK Emily, 20 SIMPSON Carrie (GK)

Subs: 1. KOPMEYER Haley, 8. NORRIE Ayesha, 12. FOOTE Alisha, 19. PERSSON Sofie

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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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