Heyman guides Canberra to opening win

Michelle Heyman's hat-trick has ensured Canberra United enjoyed a winning start to their Westfield W-League campaign, producing a 4-1 victory over Perth Glory at 6PR Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Michelle Heyman's hat-trick has ensured Canberra United enjoyed a winning start to their Westfield W-League campaign, producing a 4-1 victory over Perth Glory at 6PR Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

In front of Matildas coach Tom Sermanni, former Mariners striker and reigning player of the year, Heyman opened the scoring for Canberra in the 34th minute before Perth equalised through Kate Gill just before the break.

But the second half belonged to the visitors as they put away three goals and enjoyed the better of the Perth defence, Heyman bobbing up to score twice and give her new side a winning start to this competition.

The result was good enough to take Canberra, a beaten semi-finalist last season, directly to the top of the Westfield W-League standings.

It was an exciting start from both sides however, as Canberra's Sally Shippard sent an early shot over the bar in the 11th minute before Perth immediately countered, Gill firing at goal down the other end only to see visiting 'keeper Lydia Williams tip the ball onto the upright with a fantastic diving save.

It was the Glory, though, that looked the more dangerous for much of the first half, as Samantha Kerr and Gill attacked with intent while Canberra were forced into numerous low percentage, long-range efforts.

But that soon changed in the 34th minute when Caitlin Munoz exposed the Perth defence with a superb through ball, allowing Heyman to charge past Tanya Oxtoby and chip into the back of the net.

Perth responded four minutes before the break when Marianna Tabain's corner from the left was nodded towards goal by Kerr, Gill getting the faintest of final touches as she ushered it over the line.

Canberra almost took the lead again before the break when Glory goalkeeper Tine Cederkvist failed to cleanly grasp a low Ellyse Perry shot, although the stopper made amends as she bravely smothered the ball at Heyman's feet.

Both sides traded blows in the early stages of the second half, but Canberra finally found their range in the 57th minute as Emily van Egmond took the ball on the right, sending in a pin-point cross for Cian Maciejewski to rise high and nod home.

Glory responded on the hour as Shannon May saw an ambitious lob come off the crossbar, with Canberra making the most of their let-off as they doubled the lead in the 70th minute.

Once again van Egmond, the daughter of former Newcastle coach Gary, was involved, the midfielder driving the ball at goal from a tight angle on the left.

Glory goalkeeper Cererkvist probably should have grasped the attempted shot, but when it ricocheted back into play off the post, the predatory Heyman was on hand to slot it home.

Kerr had the chance to pull one back for Perth in the 75th minute when she fired over from a good position before Heyman finished off the contest three minutes from time.

The 22-year-old found herself on the end of another fast break, getting her shot away despite the attention of three defenders.

Cederkvist managed to block Heyman's initial attempt with her legs, but when the ball bobbled up again, there was nothing stopping the striker from drilling her third for the afternoon and securing the points for the capital club.

Perth Glory 1 (Gill 41) Canberra United 4 (Heyman 34, 70, 87, Maciejewski 57)