Adelaide United continued their push for a maiden A-League Women’s finals appearance, knocking off Canberra United at Viking Park for their third win of the season.
Goals for Dylan Holmes, Chelsie Dawber and Fiona Worts carried the Reds to the 3-1 win, the result leaving them fourth on the table after five matches.
It took just nine minutes for them to take the lead, after a delicate chip from Emily Condon was headed down by Paige Hayward into the path of Holmes, with a hand from United custodian Keeley Richards unable to stop her strike from finding the net.
Stung into action, Canberra’s Grace Maher blasted a 30-yard free kick that drew a comfortable save from Adelaide’s Annalee Grove, and she was tested seconds later after Margot Robinne found space inside the box but fired her shot straight at the keeper.
But Adelaide doubled the lead on 40 minutes, Worts catching the Canberra defence napping and finding Dawber in an acre of space, with the in-form striker netting her fourth goal of the campaign.
Half-time substitute Ash Sykes immediately injected energy down the left flank, though, and Canberra looked a different side, before a cross from Allira Toby was met by Sykes’ looping header which hit both the keeper and the post before finding the net.
The Green Machine completely controlled the second half and should have levelled on 68 minutes after a perfect lofted through ball from Karly Roestbakken was met by Michelle Heyman, but the United captain could only fire her header across the face of goal.
And against the run of play, the Reds would seal the deal with Worts finding space on the edge of the box and rolling a shot home with her left foot on 77 minutes.
Robinne had the pick of the late chances, following a beautiful spin with a blasted effort from outside the box that didn’t trouble Grove.
Canberra now face a steep battle to make the top four, winless through five games with just two points to show for their season.