Record-breaking Heyman brace helps Canberra past Perth at the death

Michelle Heyman scored two goals to go out on her own as the Westfield W-League’s all-time top scorer in Canberra United’s entertaining 3-2 win over Perth Glory at Viking Park on Friday night.

Heyman’s 71st and 72nd goals in the league took her ahead of Sam Kerr (70 goals) as the deadliest striker in the Westfield W-League history, in a game that had it all: a see-sawing scoreline, a red card, a pair of penalty misses and five goals – including Heyman’s winner scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Canberra went ahead in the first half through Nickoletta Flannery, only to see their advantage wiped by Caitlin Doeglas’ audacious attempt from distance in the 41st minute of play.

Heyman came to the fore early in the second stanza to put Canberra back ahead with her record-breaking goal, before Katarina Jukic tied things up once more with yet another long-range bomb for Perth, who refused to go away in a brave showing.

With 84 minutes on the clock and scores locked at 2-2 a chaotic period of play ensued in Perth’s defensive box. Kendall Fletcher missed a pair of spot kicks for Canberra, which were awarded within minutes of each other for separate Glory fouls in quick succession.

Sarah Carroll received a red card in the aftermath of the second decision but Fletcher – who struck her first penalty off the left-hand upright – shot wide of the mark with her second effort to keep Perth in it.

It seemed both sides were going to have to settle for a point in the exhilarating battle before Heyman popped up again in the 95th minute to deprive Perth of their second point of the season. The record-setter put daylight between herself and Kerr with the winning goal in stoppage time to take Canberra above Melbourne Victory into fourth on the Westfield W-League table.

Key Moments

Flannery got the ball rolling at Viking Park in the 36th minute of play, gathering the ball after Heyman’s neat pass into the right-hand side of the penalty box to touch and shoot under Lily Alfeld into the bottom-left corner.

With a one goal lead over the bottom-placed Glory Canberra may have thought a big win was on the cards, before Doeglas hammered the visitors back into contention.

Elizabeth Anton found Doeglas with a ranging ball toward the left flank. Doeglas gathered brilliantly, squared up Canberra full-back Lauren Keir and cut back onto her left foot. 

From there, Doeglas stunned everyone in attendance – including Keeley Richards in goal for Canberra – with a strike from outside the box which looped the ‘keeper and dropped into the net.

Perth’s parity in the contest lasted to the break and the visitors came out in the second half sniffing the opportunity of an upset, before Heyman made that mountain all the more difficult to climb once again with a phenomenal strike to make it 2-1.

Heyman took sole ownership of first place on the Westfield W-League all-time top scoring leaderboard with a goal which will be replayed for years to come.

The Canberra superstar was thwarted once by the outrushing Alfeld, who scooped the ball away from Heyman on the tip of the box. But as the Perth stopper rushed back to her line Heyman shot on the turn, evading three Perth defenders in the box as she looped the ball into the top right corner to put Canberra back ahead.

The winless Perth may have let their heads drop after falling behind for the second time, but the visitors instead shifted their focus instantly toward finding an equaliser yet again, in hunt of a second point for the 2020/21 campaign.

Perth’s only other point of the season came in a draw to Canberra in Round 5, and it looked as though the visitors would get a similar result at Viking Park when Jukic came to the fore to score another audacious goal from range.

Collecting the ball off the left flank, Jukic spotted Richards off her line and dispatched a right-footed high over the back-pedalling Canberra ‘keeper and into the net.

Perth let their resilience show in a brave performance on the road, but Heyman’s quality shone through deep in stoppage time to seal all three points for the hosts. 

Canberra were desperate for a win to heap the pressure on those above them on the Westfield W-League table, but it seemed they would falter against the league’s bottom side after Fletcher’s pair of penalty misses late in the contest gave Perth two lifelines. 

Heyman saw the two spot kicks go wide and decided to take matters into her own hands, collecting the ball from Hayley Taylor-Young and shooting from the right side of the box across goal to find the bottom-left corner, sparking passionate scenes on the pitch and in the stands at Viking Park.