A match-winning goal from Michelle Heyman in her 100th game in green has kept Canberra United in the running for finals football and delivered them their first away win for the season, a tough 1-0 victory over Newcastle Jets on Saturday 20 March.
Nicki Flannery and Paige Satchell looked threatening early on, with both making great pace up the wing to keep Newcastle’s goal keeper Claire Coelho on her toes.
However, it was in the 22nd minute that Canberra’s attempts came to fruition. Grace Maher sent a ball beautifully to striker Michelle Heyman who was able to get Canberra on the scoreboard, and in the end, be the only goal recorded for the night.
It didn’t take long for Newcastle’s Cassidy Davis to try and return serve though, but a calm Keeley Richards denied it.
Heyman then went in to attempt her second goal for the night with a long ball. This started a flurry of attempts with Paige Satchell, Michelle Heyman and Lauren Keir doing their best to get another point in before the half-time whistle blew.
The beginning of the second half saw an agonisingly close chance from Flannery, who made a huge run past Newcastle’s defence, only to have her shot denied by the keeper yet again.
A scare in the 61st minute saw Canberra United’s physiotherapist run to the aid of Emma Ilijoski, who copped an elbow to the head. After close assessment, Ilijoski was deemed fit to play and the defender was quickly back in action.
Keeley Richards continued to protect her goals, with a brilliant save in the 78th minute.
It was then time for Heyman and Flannery to call it a night, with Demi Koulizakis and Hayley Taylor-Young providing power from the bench, while Sasha Grove was also given her shot with five minutes to spare.
By this time, the rain was falling with menace and both sides were eager to finish the night on a high.
But it would be Canberra United claiming the three points on the road, at a time when it matters most.
Canberra United is fourth on the ladder and will face ladder leaders Sydney FC at Viking Park, Canberra this Friday 26 March 5.35pm.