Canberra grab vital win as Jets end difficult week

Newcastle Jets 0-3 Canberra United

by Ryan Miller-Woods (5/2/23)

Above: Canberra United celebrate their second-half scoring spree. Photo: Canberra United.

After two consecutive 5-0 defeats, Canberra United are back on the winners list with a 3-0 win against Newcastle Jets at No.2 Sportsground.

Canberra’s win was thanks to three goals in seven second-half minutes by Laura Hughes, Michelle Heyman, and Grace Maher. It was a tough end to a difficult week for Newcastle Jets, whose head coach Ash Wilson stepped aside in midweek.

After some early skirmishes at both ends, Newcastle almost took the lead in the 15th minute. Kennedy Faulknor was dispossessed of the ball by Lauren Allan who made a great run into the box. Her shot on an angle was parried by Canberra goalkeeper Chloe Lincoln for Allan to then slot the ball to Ashlee Brodigan whose shot was cleared off the line by Canberra. 

Canberra came equally as close 20 minutes later. Michelle Heyman from around halfway directed a beautiful pass to Grace Jale on the right-hand side. Jale ran into the box and found Vesna Milivojevic whose shot from the edge of the box was spectacularly put over the bar by Worth.

Above: Grace Jale (right) had an influential afternoon for Canberra United. Photo: Canberra United.

There was one further opportunity in the 45th minute, as Grace Maher directed a pass to Heyman who ran onto it and got into the box with her shot on an angle going over the bar. 

The visitors came out firing at the start of the second half as Maher fed Milivojevic whose first-time shot at goal was yet again superbly saved by Worth. Just under 20 minutes into the second period, the visitors finally hit the front.

Jale made a great run into the box found Hughes who took a touch, then had a shot at goal which went past Worth and into the back of the net for the opening goal of the match. It had been coming.

Just two minutes later, Milivojevic hit the ball forward, it went into the path of Newcastle’s Cannon Clough who appeared to be making a backpass to Worth but it didn’t have enough power on it allowing Heyman to gather possession and hit a first-time shot at goal which went past Worth and into the bottom right corner for Canberra’s second goal of the match.

Above: Grace Maher reacts after scoring from the penalty spot. Photo: Canberra United.

The goalscoring flurry continued in the 69th minute from the spot after Cassidy Davis brought down Hughes in the box. Grace Maher was the one who stepped up with calmness and slotted her shot into the bottom left corner. 

Newcastle had two opportunities to close the gap before the end with Lara Gooch involved both times. First, she fed Brodigan who advanced into the box but her eventual shot at goal on an angle was denied by the woodwork. Then in stoppage time at the end, Gooch hit an effort from outside the area which was denied by Lincoln. 

This was a crucial result for Canberra after two heavy defeats. They now need to show this level against the teams above them, starting next weekend when they host Sydney FC. 

As for Newcastle, they face a trip to leaders Western United in midweek. Life won’t be getting any easier. 

Teams: NEWCASTLE JETS (4-4-2): Worth, Clough, King, Garnier, Puxty, Davis, Agnew, Johnson, L.Allan, Heyman, Brodigan. Substitutes: Coelho, Andrews, Stapleford, Allen, Gooch. 

CANBERRA UNITED (4-2-3-1): Lincoln, Hughes, Brush, Grove, Maher, Jale, Taylor-Young, Faulknor, Milivojevic, Flannery, Heyman. Substitutes: Richards, Murray, Ilijoski, Middleton, Gett. 

Scorers: Hughes 63’, Heyman 65’, Maher (pen) 69. 

Referee: Rachel Mitchenson.

Attendance: 1,404.

Artwork: Charlotte Stacey, founder of On Her Side.

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