Canberra into Westfield W-League final

Canberra United won their way into the inaugural Westfield W-League final with an against the odds 1-0 victory over an unlucky Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle.

Canberra United won their way into the inaugural Westfield W-League final with an against the odds 1-0 victory over an unlucky Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium in Newcastle.

Kara Mowbray netted what proved the winner on 26 minutes, but the Jets dominated the entire second half breaching the United penalty area on nearly 50 occasions.

The Jets also having twice as many attempts at goal with Canberra goalkeeper Lydia Williams forced into 10 saves compared to just two for Newcastle custodian Alison Logue.

The opening exchanges saw the home team set the pace earning a number of corners, one of which resulted in Gema Simon forcing a diving save from goalkeeper Lydia Williams with a fierce effort from 40 metres out.

United replied almost immediately with Amy Chapman's pass allowing Caitlin Munoz to get free only to push a difficult effort over the crossbar.

In an action-packed start Katie Gill was set free with a ball from deep but only a desperate toe on the ball from United skipper Ellie Brush saved the day.

Canberra came into the match strongly as the half wore on breaking the deadlock mid-way through an opening stanza that was played in high winds.

A typical lightning burst of speed down the right flank from Ashleigh Sykes saw the ball pulled back for Mowbray to score with a well-hit first time drive from 18 metres that gave Logue no chance.

The match was an open affair played in front of a boisterous crowd of nearly 3,000 spectators that included a busload of Canberra supporters who added to the colour.

Acting Jets skipper Joanne Peters looked back to her best constantly creating havoc around the penalty area but she missed a good opportunity to equalize directing a header wide from a well-flighted Kirstyn Pearce cross.

The home side commenced the second half strongly with Nicole Jones picking up a loose ball in midfield and releasing Katie Gill whose shot sailed narrowly over the crossbar in what was one of Newcastle's better opportunities in the match.

Simon followed up soon after with a dangerous swerving shot from the edge of the penalty area as the Jets looked desperately for an equalizer.

Van Egmond twice saw difficult snap shots sail wide of the mark and then stabbed a gilt-edged chance wide of the mark with only Williams to beat.

Incredibly though United could have gone two goals to the good with Sykes unable to convert past an exposed Alison Logue making her only real save of the half on 70 minutes.

Cheryl Salisbury joined the fray with ten minutes remaining to play alongside Gill in the forward line with the Matildas skipper still not fully recovered from a calf injury.

The United back-line, lead by Thea Slatyer and Brush, proved impregnable and the visitors held on for a famous victory.

"In terms of football I wasn't really happy but under the circumstances when you are playing away from home in a semi final in front a parochial crowd and it's a tight game those things happen," said United coach Robbie Hooker.

"If you can defend like that every week you only need to score one goal and we managed to do that."

"It wasn't a pretty game, semi finals and finals never are pretty games but the hard work was done in the last three months and we did enough to get over the line."

"Reaching any grand final is great but to do it in the inaugural year of the W-League, it is a great feeling."

"We just lacked that composure (in attack)," said Jets coach Gary Phillips. "Finals football is sometimes be like that, it can be fast and hectic and people can sometimes get a bit excited and chase a ball rather than settle down a little bit."

"It's been a great year and the players have done really but I just hope the players learn from that in any future situation."

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 0 Canberra United 1 (Kara Mowbray 25-)

Saturday 10 January 2008 EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Crowd: 2,889

Referee: Sara Hodson Assistant Referees: Sarah Ho & Tanya de Boer Fourth Official: Kirralee Gardener

Newcastle Jets line-up: 1.Alison LOGUE (gk), 6.Amber NEILSON, 7.Gema SIMON, 10.Joanne PETERS (c), 11.Stacey DAY, 12.Katie GILL, 14.Nicole JONES, 15.Emily VAN EGMOND, 16.Kirstyn PEARCE (5.Cheryl SALISBURY 80-), 18.Rebecca SMITH, 19.Sanna FROSTEVALL.

Substitutes not used: 2.Hannah BREWER, 9.Rhali DOBSON, 20.Gemma O-TOOLE (gk), 21.Taleah DOYLE.

Yellow cards: Cheryl Salisbury 86- Red Cards: Nil

Canberra United line-up: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 2.Rhian DAVIES (9.Grace GILL 83-), 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 5.Sasha McDONNELL (11.Cian MACIEJEWSKI 58-), 6.Caitlin MUNOZ, 7.Ellie BRUSH, 8.Rebecca KITING, 10.Hayley CRAWFORD, 12.Kara MOWBRAY, 13.Thea SLATYER, 14.Ashleigh SYKES (4.Bronwyn STUDMAN 90-).

Substitutes not used: 19.Jennifer BISSETT, 20.Maja BLASCH (gk).

Yellow cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil