So there was a little bit of history repeating itself thanks to a late Canberra United comeback in Perth to draw 2-2 with the Glory, but apart from that it seems the Westfield W-League results fell into a little bit more predictable fashion in Round 3. Are the cream starting to separate from the crop? All the Round 3 scorers and happenings in one little post.
SYDNEY FC 1 (Leena Khamis 5') bt NEWCASTLE JETS 0 at Energy Australia Stadium, Newcastle. So Sydney won, but like me, did anyone else watching the game think that that score probably wasn't an accurate reflection? Although, while I thought Sydney did dominate the play, they certainly didn't play as well as they did against Canberra United last week so perhaps 1-0 was an accurate score. There was sloppy work from both teams, particulary in the second half both teams were getting terrible touches on the ball in the midfield and the Jets had some pretty ordinary attempts at clearances from defence that went straight out. I think Sydney really needed to be more ruthless in front of goal. Fair enough that Sarah Walsh didn't play, but watching on ABC TV I thought that Julie Rydahl, Cathrin Paaske, Heather Garriock, Linda O'Neill and Leena Khamis had some great chances, but they tried to pass it around and be fancy instead of pull the trigger. I know that a 4-0 or 5-0 result doesn't look great for the league, but I think perhaps in the argument for teams getting better, a thrashing here and there would actually be good as it would show W-League players what they have to do to get to a Matildas standard. The Jets still haven't scored a goal this season, although Emma Stewart came very close when she recieved a long ball through and got first touch, unfortunately her second touch went straight to Deiter. Also, special mention to Heather Garriock for being the most attacking left back I have ever seen. She did it against Canberra last week, but stepped it up even more against Newcastle. Just watching Garriock alone is worth the $5 or $10 it will cost you to get into a W-League game.
MELBOURNE VICTORY 2 (Katrina GORRY 29’, Selin KURULAY 82’) bt ADELAIDE UNITED 0 at Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide. So Melbourne continued its positive start to the season and Adelaide still haven't scored a goal. Although, with Melissa Barbieri in goal for the Victory that was always going to be hard. According to the statistics though, Melbourne had 30 shots to Adelaide's seven, so did the Victory waste their chances or was it some stellar defending from Adelaide? From the match report, looks like great defending. Going on the highlights they showed at halftime on ABC TV on Saturday though, Adelaide went close to scoring a few times in Round 2 - while a win might be a while off they look like they may be capable of scoring a few this year. It's a challenge the Jets and Adelaide now have, who will score their first goal? My bet is on Adelaide. Also, am very much looking forward to seeing what the Victory are made of when they come to Canberra this weekend.
PERTH GLORY 2 (Collette McCALLUM 6’, Marianna TABAIN 8’) drew with CANBERRA UNITED 2 (TSENG Shu O 61’, Ashleigh SYKES 82’) at Clipsal Stadium, Perth. So a little bit of history repeating itself here. In Round 5 last year, Perth Glory went up 2-0 early only to have United come back with two late goals to equalise. Last year it was Caitlin Munoz and then Ashleigh Sykes in the 89th minute. In 2009, it was Taiwanese import Tseng Shu O in the 62nd then Sykes again in the 82nd to seal Canberra's first point this season. Coach Ray Junna was left wondering what could have been though after United gave away that 2-0 lead, firstly a penalty against Ellie Brush that Collette McCallum converted in just the 6th minute, followed by a lucky volley from Marianna Tabain that just dropped perfectly over Lydia Williams. Find comments from Junna here. But my favourite quote from the weekend comes from Ashleigh Sykes, who has had a mountain of pressure on her this year to step up from the impact player off the bench to starting striker and scored her first goal on the weekend. When asked by my colleague Chris Dutton if she was happy to get rid of the monkey on her back in today's The Canberra Times, Sykes said, "I don't know if it was a goalscoring monkey on my back," she said. "I was more like a gorilla.
"I had a few chances this year but I haven't been able to put them away so hopefully I can carry it on and keeping getting a few in the coming weeks."
Both Ash and Nic Sykes start their HSC exams this week and both have six over the next two weeks, for those two and all other W-League girls out there who are in the same position, good luck!
BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Sasha McDonnell 80') bt CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0 at Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane. So Brisbane Roar move clear at the top of the W-League table with a tight 1-0 win. But given that the goal only came from substitute Sasha McDonnell in the 80th minute (she came on in the 79th and the goal was her first touch), the Mariners can probably feel unlucky that they didn't get a point. Can anyone catch Brisbane as they charge towards second consecutive W-League championships? I'm thinking not really. For more details on the match, here is a great report from Sportal's Rob Forsaith. He particulary made me smile with his description on the 'Butt and Beutel show'.