Glory For Perth As First Point Earned

Canberra United 1–1 Perth Glory

By Ben Gilby

Perth Glory picked up their first point of the season by gaining an outstanding draw away from home to unbeaten Canberra United in a game played in 38oc heat at Viking Park.

Above: Perth Glory celebrate Elizabeth Anton’s goal. Photo: @PerthGloryFC

Canberra United star Grace Maher was celebrating her fiftieth W League start as her team went looking for the win which would take them back to the top of the W League table.

Glory were rocked midweek by the news that their outstanding player so far this season, Gemma Craine has been ruled out for the rest of the campaign due to a hamstring injury. Coming into the team for her first start was sixteen year-old local product Tijan McKenna, still at school, made first start for Perth Glory.

The Lime Green Machine started on the front foot, and within two minutes Michelle Heyman managed to get on the end of a long ball down the right but Glory defender Elizabeth Anton made a great clearance for a throw.

They came again three minutes later when Emma Ilijoski was played in by Nikki Flannery and put in a dangerous ball which Heyman juggled and try to get a shot away but the Perth defence did their job well.

Heyman got through once more after the ten minute mark by a great ball from Flannery. Her first touch was not as good as she would have hoped for which allowed Sarah Carroll to put the ball behind for a corner.

Just before the quarter of an hour mark, Canberra’s New Zealand international Paige Satchell danced through several attempted Perth tackles to fire in a low shot which Lily Alfeld got down to well to push the ball out for a corner at the left hand post.

Canberra were well on top at this stage and earned another corner when Tijan McKenna ended another attack by putting the ball behind. Maher’s flag kick was well dealt with once more.

It took Perth until the twenty-third minute to get near the home penalty area thanks to a run from Kat Jukic. She found McKenna who tried to turn Satchell but lost possession.

Just before the half-hour mark, Lauren Keir played through an inch perfect ball to Heyman, but the Canberra star hit her shot disappointingly wide of the left hand post.

Above: Michelle Heyman hit an effort wide when through on goal. Photo: @CanberraUnited.

Perth were defending superbly well against a Canberra side who have such a dangerous forward line. If the Western Australians could add some more forward momentum, they could quickly ensure the frustration would grow within the team from the nation’s capital.

Five minutes before the break, another Canberra chance went begging when Heyman played a square ball into Isabella Foletta just outside the box and her rocket effort just went over.

Straight down the other end and Perth fashioned their best effort to date. Caitlin Doeglas played a ball in from the left to Marianna Tabain. She took a touch and hit an effort which was parried by Chantel Jones in the Canberra goal before Emma Ilijoski hacked clear.

The final chance of the opening half fell the home sides way when Kier put Ilijoski in down the left. Glory teenager McKenna looked to have held her off well before giving away a free kick.  Maher’s ball in was comfortably held by Alfeld.

Perth began the second half having far more of the ball offensively. Six minutes into the half, Caitlin Doeglas hit a dangerous ball away to Malia Steinmetz who returned the favour with a pass back to Doeglas that allowed her to race clear of the home defence before being ruled offside.

Canberra responded with three rapid opportunities. Lily Alfeld needed to be alert to make a save from Nikki Flannery’s header after a corner. Then, Grace Maher laid off a lovely pass to Paige Satchell, who was being watched by Kiwi head coach Tom Sermanni. Her ball in found Heyman but she was well marshalled by Malia Steinmetz for Perth. Sarah Carroll then conceded a free kick which led to Maher firing an effort which Alfeld pushed away.

Above: Perth’s Tijan McKenna (far left) on her first start for the club at the age of sixteen watches on as team-mate Malia Steiinmetz puts a tackle in. Photo: @CanberraUnited

The heat then began to take its toll with chances at a premium ahead of the final quarter of an hour.

With ten minutes to go, Perth Glory won their first corner of the game. Deborah-Ann De la Harpe played the ball in and sub Patricia Charalambous got two efforts away but both were blocked by the Canberra defence.

Perth threatened again and a throw in found Hana Lowry. The seventeen year-old dinked a ball in which Jones failed to deal with which allowed Charalabous to earn another chance which couldn’t find the target.

Canberra responded instantly when Laura Hughes hit an effort narrowly wide of the left hand post.

With five minutes left, Perth won a free kick after Nikki Flannery was adjudged to have pushed Charalambous. De la Harpe’s ball in found Lowry who back heeled an effort which deflected into the path of Elizabeth Anton whose effort rolled in.

Straight from the kick off though, Canberra levelled. Demi Koulizakis found Hayley Taylor-Young and the substitute’s shot came off the right post then rolled along to hit the left hand one and bounce over the line with Michelle Heyman then adding a touch.

Above: Less than a minute after falling behind, Canberra were celebrating Hayley Taylor-Young’s leveller. Photo: @CanberraUnited

After that flurry of two goals in less than a minute the remainder of the game rather petered out and there is absolutely no doubt that, although disappointed to have conceded so quickly after taking the lead, Perth will be the happier with the outcome.

Perth Glory captain Tash Rigby, who was celebrating her 28th birthday said: “We’re so happy. We wanted to go out and nail every action and intimidate with our actions. We are stoked with the result. We were pretty knackered with the heat, but then again we’re used to it in Perth.”

Canberra United head coach Vicki Linton was, perhaps not quite as happy: “We needed to make the most of our possession and chances and we didn’t. We knew Perth could hurt us. It was about concentration for us, which was hard in the heat.”

Teams: CANBERRA UNITED: Jones, Ilijoski, Keir, Nash, Foletta, Maher, Hughes, Koulizakis, Flannery, Heyman, Satchell. Substitutes: Richards (GK), Galic, Goldstein, Taylor-Young, Rasschaert.

Scorers: Taylor-Young 87.

PERTH GLORY: Alfeld, De la Harpe, Anton, Carroll, Rigby, Steinmetz, Lowry, Tabain, McKenna, Jukic, Doeglas. Substitutes: Bennett (GK), Moreno, Charalambous, Morgan, Gale.

Scorers: Anton 86.

Referee: Rebecca Durcau.

Attendance: 1,041.

 PWDLFAPtsGD
Sydney FC3300719+ 6
Adelaide United4301869+ 2
Canberra United3220868+ 2
Brisbane Roar5140826+ 4
Newcastle Jets4112764+ 1
Melbourne Victory4112894– 1
Melbourne City51135124– 7
Western Sydney Wanderers41033103– 7
Perth Glory3012241– 2

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

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