Hemmings finally breaks goal drought
THE CAPITAL officially has a new Green Machine - at least for the summer anyway.
Canberra United purred to a fourth straight W-League win yesterday in front of a packed house at McKellar Park, downing Melbourne Victory 2-1 and jumping five points clear at the top of the table.
It wasn't the slickest performance of the year, but first-half goals to Ashleigh Sykes and American import Taryn Hemmings kept the league leader's charge towards the premiership firmly on track.
Hemmings's first goal in a Canberra shirt proved to be the match winner after Kendall Fletcher pulled one back for the Victory 13 minutes from time.
''I finally I got it off my back,'' Hemmings said of her drought-breaking strike.
''It definitely was a good feeling to get the ball into the back of the net and hopefully it'll keep coming more now.''
Hemmings was close to Canberra's best in last week's win over Sydney FC but couldn't find the back of the net.
Yesterday she had no such trouble, breaking her Australian duck six minutes from half-time with a rasping drive from the right edge of the penalty box which doubled the home side's lead. Ashleigh Sykes netted her second in two matches midway through the opening half.
Hemmings's side has now found four avenues to goal already this season, after Canberra's first two wins were largely manufactured from the boot of in-form striker Michelle Heyman.
Caitlin Munoz, who was a tower of strength again in midfield yesterday, has also netted for United this summer and in four games the runaway leaders have already managed 10 goals.
In a chilling warning to the rest of the league ahead of her team's trip to Newcastle next weekend, coach Jitka Klimkova said there was room for improvement.
''I'm probably five years older now after this game again, three points is great, we won this game, it's perfect but we didn't play so well,'' Klimkova said.
''I won't sleep, I will think about this game a lot.
''We should keep more possession, we should have the ball more under control and create more chances. Melbourne had the same chances that we had so we are a little bit lucky that we won this game.''
Klimkova said her side wouldn't alter its attacking mindset.
''We stay with our style, we play this attacking football and I think that's why we are successful.
''We are playing forward. We should be a little bit more organised in defence and don't panic. We just gave them the chance to come back so next time we shouldn't give them the chance. Any game won't be easy. We've played four games and every game was close.''
AT A GLANCE
CANBERRA UNITED 2 (A Sykes 22m, T Hemmings 39m) bt MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (K Fletcher 77m)