Brisbane Roar back to top of table

Brisbane Roar has reclaimed top spot on the Westfield W-League ladder courtesy of a 1-0 win over Canberra United at Perry Park.

Brisbane Roar has reclaimed top spot on the Westfield W-League ladder courtesy of a 1-0 win over Canberra United at Perry Park.

In a tight contest, a little bit of magic from Lana Harch in the 60th minute was enough to secure all three points for Brisbane.

Tameka Butt has the first opportunity of the match in just the third minute when she was on the end of a sweeping move involving Harch and Joanne Burgess which cut open the Canberra defence.

Butt found herself free on the edge of the six yard box, but put Burgess- perfect cut-back from the byline well over the bar.

The effort reflected a dominant start to the match for the home side as they had Canberra on the back foot for much of the opening 10 minutes of the game.

Gradually Canberra forced their way into the contest and should have taken the lead on 18 minutes when, with the goal at her mercy, Ellie Brush could only head a Grace Hill cross tamely at Casey Dumont in the Brisbane goal.

Brisbane had a shout for handball on 22 minutes which referee Kate Jacewicz waved away, but the Roar nearly took the lead from the resulting corner when Elise Kellond-Knight curled the ball in with intent only for Lydia Williams to get fingertips to the effort to push it away to safety.

Both sides were guilty of giving possession away easily as the warm conditions and the slow nature of the pitch influenced the play.

A quick break for the home side opened an opportunity for Burgess with 28 minutes played, but after beating her defender on the edge of the box she failed to trouble Williams in goal, putting her effort over the bar.

Butt then created a fantastic opportunity for herself with five minutes left in the half after a weaving fun opened up space for her on the edge of the box and her well-struck shot seemed destined for the top corner until Williams again got her fingertips to the ball.

Harch then had the large crowd on the edge of their seats from the resultant corner when she pounced on a loose ball in the box, but curled her left-footed effort just wide of the goal.

Brisbane should have conceded just after the restart when a cross fell to Grace Gill on her own on the edge of the six yard box, but again the effort was weak and Dumont had no trouble gathering the ball.

A neat passing move on the edge of the Canberra box between Harch and Butt ended with the latter free and in space, but again an attacking shot was fired directly at the opposition keeper.

Butt then tried the outrageous with a cheeky backheel from the goal line which had the keeper stranded, but hit the base of the post and back into Williams- arms.

However it was Harch who finally broke the deadlock on 60 minutes when she made the most of a good Amy Chapman cross from the right, rounded a defender calmly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

The goal opened up the play, with tiring legs in the hot conditions providing plenty of room at both ends of the field as the play flowed from end to end.

Kennya Cordner was handed her debut for Brisbane having just signed for the club on 76 minutes and immediately had an impact opening up the right side of the Canberra defence before delivering a quality cross into the box which Butt laid off to Harch, but the latter put her shot wide.

Cordner definitely looked up for her debut and was again terrorising the Canberra defence a short time later and again delivering a quality ball, but after a scramble in the box Williams was finally able to gather the ball.

Lisa Heyman had a chance to draw her side level when Tseng Shu-O delivered a great cross onto her head but, unmarked, she failed to hit the target from 12 yards out.

Canberra pushed hard for the equalising goal in the final stages of the match, but the Brisbane defence held strong to deny them any clear cut opportunities on Dumont-s goal.

Brisbane coach Jeff Hopkins was pleased with the result, however lamented his side not making the game secure by putting away earlier chances.

“I was really pleased actually, I thought we dominated the game possession wise,” Hopkins said.

“We just needed to put one or two of our chances away earlier to make things easier on ourselves.

“What was really pleasing out of the performance today was that we kept trying to play football.

“It didn-t always work, but we never stopped trying.”

Brisbane Roar 1 (Lana HARCH (61-)) Canberra United 0 Perry Park, Brisbane Referee: Kate Jacewicz

Brisbane Roar: 1. Casey Dumont (gk), 2. Laura ALLEWAY, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (C), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Kim CARROLL, 7. Joanne BURGESS (19. Lisa DEVANNA 60-), 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT,10. Lana HARCH, 13. Tameka BUTT, 14. Amy CHAPMAN (18. Kennya CORDNER 79-), 16. Lauren COLTHORPE

Substitutes not used: 12. Rebekah STOTT, 20. Kate STEWART (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Canberra United: 1. Lydia Williams (gk), 2. Caitlin Cooper, 4. Michelle Heyman, 5. Kahlia Hogg (19. Jennifer Bisset 46-), 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 9. Grace Gill (22. Leah BLAYNEY 69-), 11. Cian Maciejewski (8. Tseng Shu-O 54-), 13. Nicole Sykes, 15. Sally Shipard, 16. Ellyse Perry

Substitutes not used: 20. Jocelyn Mara (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil