The West Canberra Wanderers sit at the top of the table after a fourth win in as many games in 2022. The team coached by Rey Castro can thank Tara Cannon this week. The sole goal scorer midweek against Gungahlin United was at it again on Sunday against Tuggeranong United whom they defeated 3-0.
The trajectory and the power of her free kick from the edge of the box left Sam Emms no chance and showed the Wanderers the way at Melrose. Hattie Cram happily followed suit and won her duel against the Tuggies goalkeeper twenty minutes later.
Despite losing goalkeeper Ally Hinson to a broken finger, West Canberra was rarely put in danger by the visitors in the second half, and instead kept on pushing to score a third. Their reward came with 6 minutes left on the clock when Johanna Biddle outpaced Tuggeranong’s defence and tapped the ball in Emms’ net. The Wanderers are yet to concede a goal this season and will visit Canberra Olympic next Sunday as the surprise early leaders in the WNPL.
Canberra Olympic were visiting Deakin for Round 4 and the clash between the two powerhouses ended in a 1-1 draw. Canberra Croatia, already without usual starters Brittany Palombi and Jamie Berkeley, unfortunately lost their goalkeeper Nat Vasta for the rest of the season at the 40th minute to a broken ankle. Experienced left back Alice Churchill put on the gloves and stood between the posts.
After an expectedly cagey first half, it was the referee’s whistle that would decide the tie. Churchill was twice found guilty of a foul in her area on Michaela Thornton, offering Ally Cook two chances from the spot kick. The Olympic centre back netted the first attempted, but saw the interim goalkeeper save the second.
In the dying minutes of the game, Jennifer Bisset earned an opportunity from the spot kick for herself and left Janet King no chance. Nicole Begg and her troops missed an opportunity to put a rival three points behind with that goal conceded at the end, but the level of football played by both teams left us wanting for more.
Pat Mills finally recorded his first victory with Gungahlin United on Sunday with a 5-2 win over Wagga City Wanderers. The Gunners hit the ground running and after the Wanderers’ keeper fumbled Erika Pennyfield’s shot, were ahead after five minutes. Michelle Heyman opened her tally this season minutes later before Megan Castle brought the Wanderers back into the game just before the half hour mark.
The Gunners took a comfortable advantage thanks to two goals before half-time, both almost offered by the Wagga’s defence, struggling to clear their line. Erika Pennyfield’s second on the day sealed the deal early in the second half.
Even if the sun helped Emma Finch scored her first goal in a Wanderers shirt, it was too little too late for the visitors, still after their first points after four rounds. Gungahlin on the other end get a breath of fresh air before a trip to Kambah next week to play Tuggeranong.
We expected an entertaining game in Hawker to end the weekend between Canberra United Academy and Belconnen United and we were not disappointed! After a strong start, the Academy allowed Belconnen to get comfortable and Chloe Lincoln needed to show her skills to delay the Blue Devils’ opener.
It came from a perfect strike from distance, courtesy of Talia Backhouse, that flew into the top left corner. The Academy pushed to come back but lacked in the final third. The second half started the worst way possible for Sarah West and her squad when Backhouse, again, headed in a corner kick past Lincoln.
Of course, the home team did not give up and answered ten minutes later through a header of their own, from Jaya Bowman. The score did not change after this, mainly thanks to a series of saves by Lincoln. The Blue Devils were still content to leave with three points and their third success in four games.
Sunday 1 May
West Canberra Wanderers 3 (Cannon 14’, Cram 37’, Biddle 84’) Tuggeranong United 0
Canberra Croatia 1 (Bisset 90+1’ (p)) Canberra Olympic 1 (Cook 50’ (p))
Gungahlin United 5 (Pennyfield 5’, 50’, Heyman 10’, Chao 40’, Lockley 45’) Wagga City Wanderers 2 (Castle 26’, Finch 65’)
Canberra United Academy 1 (Bowman 56’) Belconnen United 2 (Backhouse 42’, 47’)
Words: Jeremy Magan
|1||West Canberra Wanderers||4||4||0||0||+7||12|
|5||Canberra United Academy||4||1||0||3||-5||3|
|8||Wagga City Wanderers||4||0||0||4||-34||0|