Adelaide United claimed their first win of the season by stunning Canberra United at McKellar Park with a smash and grab 3-2 victory.
Striker Kristy Moore scored twice and substitute Tiarn Powell once as the Lady Reds upset the home team who slipped out of the top four as a result.
Only one goal had separated these teams in the Round 2 clash in South Australia and it was clear to see why in the opening exchanges. There was very little to choose between them with the Lady Reds looking sprightly early on, Moore making some incisive and dangerous runs, before Canberra began to take a strangle-hold on proceedings. However, despite some promising possession, opportunities were rare.
Young Canberra midfielder Julia De Angelis had experienced Matildas’ shot-stopper Melissa Barbieri at full stretch in the ninth minute to clutch her ambitious effort from distance, the custodian forced to plunge to her right to save well. Shortly after Michelle Heyman met a Lori Lindsey corner but her free header glanced narrowly wide of the post. At the other end Lisa-Marie Woods attempted a volley that dipped over the bar on a rare Adelaide break.
The best move of the half came in the 35th minute as the home team put together a scything attack. Lindsey and Heyman were involved, working the ball out wide to Ashleigh Sykes. Sykes’ low cross was controlled by Heyman but her snap shot whistled just over the crossbar with Barbieri beaten. Minutes later Sykes drifted past the Adelaide defence but tried to cut in onto her right when a left foot shot may have brought a greater reward.
It was somewhat against the run of play then when Adelaide took the lead two minutes before half time. A long goal kick from Barbieri found Moore out wide and the dual English-Australian international thumped a stunning right foot half-volley across Canberra’s debutant goalkeeper Melissa Maizels and into the far corner.
Trailing at the interval it didn’t take Canberra long to draw level. Barely ninety seconds into the second-half the hosts restored parity. Sykes played a major part, causing havoc in the Lady Reds defence and the loose ball was pounced upon by Heyman who bludgeoned her fifth goal of the season past Barbieri.
But Adelaide regained the lead on the hour as Moore struck again. Canberra failed to clear the danger inside their own area and the ball ricocheted kindly for Moore with the striker hammering a low shot across Maizels and into the net for her second of the afternoon.
Canberra continued to press for the second equaliser of the day and they got it with fifteen minutes remaining. Lindsey was the provider again, sending over a delightful corner, which Caitlin Munoz bundled over the line, contact appearing to be made with her shoulder. Incredibly, Adelaide was back in front within seconds. Substitute Powell was quickest to react when Maizels saved, ramming the rebound in from close range.
Heyman should have levelled again with five minutes to play when charging clear of the defence but blazed high and wide. Sally Rojahn was next to go close, poking her shot across the face of goal shortly after Sykes had just failed to get a stud on a wicked Stephanie Ochs cross. But Adelaide held firm to claim a superb away win.
Canberra United 2 (Michelle Heyman 47’, Caitlin Munoz 75’) Adelaide United 3 (Kristy Moore 43’, 60’, Tiarn Powell 76’)
(McKellar Park, Canberra)
Canberra United: 20. Melissa MAIZELS, 3. Julia DE ANGELIS (10. Grace MAHER 70’), 5. Grace FIELD, 6. Caitlin MUNOZ, 7. Ellie BRUSH, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 12. Sally ROJAHN, 13. Nicole BEGG, 14. Ashleigh SYKES, 16. Lori LINDSEY, 22. Stephanie OCHS
Substitutes not used: 1. Chantel JONES, 2. Catherine BROWN, 17. Holly HOUSTON
Adelaide United: 1. Melissa BARBIERI, 2. Monique IANELLA, 3. Danielle BROGAN, 7. Katie PEDERSEN, 8. Emily CONDON (10. Alexandra CHIDIAC 80’), 9. Lisa-Marie WOODS, 11. Isobel HODGSON (17. Tiarn POWELL 61’), 12. Talia DAIS-BORG, 15. Jenna McCORMICK, 16. Katie HOLTHAM, 23. Kristy MOORE
Substitutes not used: 6. Dylan HOLMES, 20. Sarah WILLACY
Discipline: YELLOW CARDS: 15. Jenna McCORMICK (Adelaide United)
Referee: Lara SMITH