An own goal cancelled out Michelle Heyman's chance to draw level with the W-League's all-time scoring record as Canberra United continued their unbeaten start to the season.
Heyman scored a first-half brace to help orchestrate United's 3-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, lifting Vicki Linton's outfit to the W-League ladder's top.
The Viking Park triumph saw Heyman finish just one goal shy of equalising Sam Kerr's scoring record of 70 goals, with the returned star now facing a golden chance to take the coveted feat back.
It also marked United's best start to the W-League since 2011-12, when they won their first five matches before finishing that season undefeated.
"It's a nice feeling, I definitely just want to keep scoring goals. It's just nice to score in the first half," Heyman said.
"The one thing I said to myself this morning was, 'please Michelle, make sure we score one or two goals in the first half' because we haven't been able to do it this season.
"As soon as I got onto the field that was the one mental thing I kept telling myself, we just have to put one in the back of the net. I knew the rest would come."
Eager to end United's first-half hoodoo, Nicki Flannery bore down in the third minute but the attempt was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Sarah Willacy.
The Wanderer's touch conceded a corner which led to Heyman breaking the deadlock, with the former Matildas striker sending a left-footed shot home from the box's edge.
Flannery and Heyman combined again to double United's lead in the 34th minute, with the former showing beautiful vision to set-up the brace with a touch across the face of goal.
"It was a lovely ball that she played into me, she knew I was going to get there so it was a perfect team goal," Heyman said.
It seemed Heyman had her third moments later, having found the end of a ricocheting corner to give Canberra an imposing 3-0 lead heading into the break.
But referee Lara Lee marked it down as an own goal to the Wanderers, denying the 32-year-old forward her second hat-trick of the season.
It left Western Sydney searching for an opportunity to fight their way back into the contest, but goalkeeper Keeley Richards could not be beaten on her W-League debut.
The 26-year-old Queenslander made four saves, including a brilliant tip to stop an on-target shot from ex-Canberra striker Leena Khamis in the 15th minute.
"I'm really pleased for her, she's been waiting a while to get this opportunity and she took it with both hands," Linton said.
"I'm really pleased in her performance and was able to keep that clean sheet as well.
"It was the first time we've kept a clean sheet, that was one of our main objectives so I'm really pleased with that.
"It was also the first time we've scored in the first half and we scored three. From there it was about leading the game, and managing the game. They did really well with that.
"So I'm really pleased with the effort and the implementation of what we're trying to do. They did a great job."
United now face a top-of-the-table clash against Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium on Monday, February 8.
AT A GLANCE
W-League round six: CANBERRA UNITED 3 (Heyman 4' 34', own goal 41') bt WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0