Veteran players Heyman and Brush deliver first goals against Sydney FC in 1,532 days

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The pressure was on, intensity high, the temperature was hot, desperation at its peak, and who is able to lead Canberra United out of the mess?

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None other than club icons Michelle Heyman and Ellie Brush.

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The odds were stacked against them, as Sydney came in with a 17-0 scoring record from their previous match ups, with Canberra unable to find a goal against them since December 2018.

Between the two of them, Ellie Brush and Michelle Heyman have almost 300 A-League appearances and in their latest match against Sydney, every ounce of that experience went into helping Canberra United secure the win.

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With their home field, McKellar Park, still haunted by their 5-0 defeat against Western United, Canberra were eager to get rid of those memories and reclaim their fortress.

The weather conditions mirrored their last match at the ground, but this time they came prepared, with captain Heyman scoring their first goal just four minutes in.

The strong start created a platform for Heyman and her side to keep pushing further into the match.

“As soon as you go up one up in the first fifteen minutes it gives you that confidence that we needed to start this game,” she said.

Canberra managed to hold their clean sheet and keep their intensity for the remainder of the first half.

“We knew how we could beat them, so for ourselves it was just making sure that we stick to what we needed to do and it came off,” she said.

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Skip to the back end of the second half, when scores were locked, it was Brush who perfectly executed the game plan again, to score a signature header in the dying minutes.

As the crowd rocked the stands with their cheering, Heyman’s confidence in her team solidified.

“As soon as Brush went up for that goal, I was just like it’s our game,” she said.

The win was made even more special as the club acknowledged Heyman’s accomplishment of surpassing 150 career A-League appearances.

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“It means the world; this club is everything to me,” she said.

“I never wanted to leave and I’m so happy that I’m back. For me to be at McKellar where it all started, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m just over the moon that we got the win.”

The win moved Canberra up to fifth place on the ladder, keeping their finals hopes alive as they nip at the heels of the top four.

Feature image credit: Anthony Caffery Photography

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Grace Buckmaster
Grace Buckmaster
Sports Media student at the University of Canberra. Covering Canberra United for the 2022/23 season. Women's sport enthusiast.

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