United edge out Glory

A late goal by substitute striker Ashleigh Sykes has handed Canberra United a 1-0 win Perth Glory and a place in the Westfield W-League finals, following their round 12 encounter at McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon.

A late goal by substitute striker Ashleigh Sykes has handed Canberra United a 1-0 win Perth Glory and a place in the Westfield W-League finals, following their round 12 encounter at McKellar Park on Saturday afternoon.

In a game which would decide both teams- finals chances, no players left anything on the field at the end of the game with a hard running display in hot and sunny conditions.

It was a scrappy midfield battle, Canberra had all the possession in the first half without converting, and Perth were always threatening, especially in the second half.

It looked headed for a deserved goalless draw until Sykes stepped up in the 88th minute, rising above the Perth defence to head home a well placed Emily van Egmond free kick.

The win almost certainly ended Perth-s finals chances and ensured Sykes remained a thorn in Perth-s side - she has now scored all four of her career goals against the side.

Canberra dominated possession early but they were wasteful in front of goal, while Perth were always niggling and had a number of scoring opportunities on the counter attack.

The best of them in the opening stanza was when Samatha Kerr received a Kate Gill header in space with only Canberra goalkeeper Lydia Williams to beat and two defenders in tow, but her touch was too strong and it was an opportunity wasted.

Canberra also had a host of chances on the back of their possession. Ellie Brush was prominent, she headed strongly from a corner, only for the ball to be headed off the line by Alexandra Singer and then came agonisingly close to getting her head onto a Munoz free kick which would have been an almost certain goal.

The second half started in a flurry and Perth could count themselves unlucky having had more possession than the first half and the better chances on goal.

Elisa D-Ovidio was in the thick of it with a couple of shots on goal and Perth nearly had their much-need goal in 65th minute when Williams managed to dive on the ball after a scramble in a crowded six-yard box.

And again with less than 15 minutes remaining, Collette McCallum hit a shot from a good position straight to Williams.

Enter the speedy Sykes into the fray against a tired defence. With five minutes to go she hit a good long shot which forced Tine Cederkvist into a low diving save before bobbing up for the match winner and putting her side into the finals.

Cian Maciejewski nearly compounded Perth-s woes in the shadows of full time with a clever flick on header from an Ellyse Perry corner before Perth stayed on the field to contemplate their loss.

Canberra United 1 (A. Sykes 88) Perth Glory 0