Canberra United have consolidated their spot in the top four with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Adelaide United at Marsden Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon with 17-year-old Hayley Taylor-Young coming off the bench to score the winner with her first W-League goal.
With Canberra United needing a win to keep up with the likes of Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers in the race for finals football, they provided the finishing touches necessary to get past a gallant Adelaide United side, who once again produced a strong performance, but couldn't find the back of the net when it counted.
Sitting bottom of the ladder with zero points, Adelaide started the match on the front foot, but it was another case of 'close but no cigar' for the South Australian outfit as they fell behind to a Leena Khamis strike early on, before teenager Hayley Taylor-Young wrapped things up in the 78th minute with her maiden senior goal.
The Lady Reds halved the deficit through Emily Condon deep into stoppage time, but it was too little, too late as Canberra held on to hand Adelaide their fifth straight defeat of the season.
Sarah Willacy - 8
Was strong coming off her line and commanded her area well throughout the 90. Made a string of quality saves to keep her side in it during the second half but could do little about either goal.
Emily Hodgson - 7
Defended well and provided some forward output. Provided an excellent cross for Dawber in the first half but didn't really have many opportunities to overlap as Canberra sat deep for large parts of the match.
Amber Brooks - 6.5
The skipper was fantastic throughout as she stood firm in the Adelaide backline, but she was crucially caught out for the opening goal as her decision to step up proved costly, allowing Khamis a free run on goal which she did not waste.
Julia Ashley - 7
The American has an excellent understanding with her compatriot Brooks, and the pair did a fine job keeping the likes of Charley, Thorsnes and Khamis quiet for most of the match.
Charlotte Grant - 7.5
Full of energy and looked to get forward where possible, did her best to try and contain the dangerous Simone Charley. The Young Matilda is full of promise and is one to watch for the future.
Kahlia Hogg - 7.5
Hogg was the main reason neither side managed to dominate the midfield, as she got through a mountain of work shielding her back four.
Georgia Campagnale - 6.5
Showed her quality in patches but failed to assert herself as Adelaide struggled to turn possession into meaningful passing. Withdrawn on the hour mark.
Lais Araujo - 6.5
The Brazilian had the most touches of any player on the park, but failed to really make her mark on the match as Canberra did a excellent job of limiting her touches in dangerous areas. Often had to drop deep to receive the ball which nullified her attacking influence.
Chelsea Dawber - 6.5
The young winger found herself in excellent spaces but failed to provide the clinical edge required. With Adelaide struggling at the foot of the table, they can't afford to be spurning gilt-edge opportunities and Dawber could've had a hat-trick on another day.
Mallory Weber - 7
The American was Adelaide's main threat outside of Fowler, and was always positive and had a great battle with Roestbakken. Provided more crosses than any other player, including the cross which led to Condon's consolation strike.
Mary Fowler - 6.5
It's hard to be critical of a 16 year-old but everything Adelaide do is directed through the teenage superstar. Her ability to dribble is wonderful to watch, but she constantly held on to the ball too long and wasted promising openings throughout the match. Her teammates could be heard telling her to shoot at times, but we have to remember she is just 16, and she will no doubt be a star for many years to come.
Emily Condon - 7
Played the final 30 minutes and was a keen worker, but still struggled to swing the match in favour of the home side. Had her initial close range finish well saved by Khamis, but prodded the rebound home to set up an interest last few minutes.
Isabel Hodgson - 6.5
Given around half an hour to impress but found the going tough and never really impacted the match.
Dylan Holmes - N/A
Thrown on inside the last 10 as Adelaide tried to salvage something, but failed to provide a telling contribution.
Sham Khamis - 7
Had a quiet game as Adelaide failed to create clear cut opportunities but will be disappointed to lose her clean sheet so late in the piece, despite her excellent initial save from Condon.
Karly Roestbakken - 7
Had a fantastic battle with Mallory Weber throughout the match and the youngster did a great job limiting the American's influence. Wasn't able to get forward as regularly as she usually does as Canberra played largely on the counter.
Jessie Rasschaert - 8.5
A fantastic display from Rasschaert as she kept tabs on Fowler and kept Adelaide at bay for the majority of the match. In just her fourth W-League appearance, she looked at home next to Kurtz as the duo produced an outstanding defensive display.
Kaleigh Kurtz - 9
Copped a bloodied nose midway through the first half, but soldiered on despite needing treatment several times to stem the bleeding throughout the match. Kurtz was fantastic and Canberra's rock at the back, and whilst they say you can't get blood from a stone, she did her best to disprove that saying tonight.
Nikola Orgill - 7
Did a solid job keeping tabs on Dawber and Hodgson but wasn't really troubled throughout the 90. Withdrawn late after signalling to the bench she needed treatment.
Laura Hughes - 7
Battled well in the middle of the park to disrupt Adelaide and keep the likes of Araujo quiet. Withdrawn just after the hour mark.
Olivia Price - 7.5
The powerhouse in Canberra's midfield covered countless miles in the middle of the park, but also provided the assist for the opener with an excellent through ball to Leena Khamis.
Simone Charley - 7
Always looked a threat when running at defenders and cutting back onto her left, but just failed to trouble Willacy in the Adelaide goal tonight. Enjoyed a great battle with the impressive Grant for Adelaide.
Leena Khamis - 8
When presented with an early opportunity to open the scoring, Khamis did not need a second invitation as she blasted home past Willacy from the edge of the box after just eight minutes to open her account for her new club. Worked her socks off throughout and got through more than her share of defensive work as she led from the front.
Camila - 7
Found it tough to create space in a crowded midfield area, but her set piece delivery was exceptional tonight and it was no surprise the winner came from another wickedly delivered corner from the Brazilian.
Elise Thorsnes - 6.5
With Canberra conceding possession and looking to counter for the majority of the match, Thorsnes didn't see a lot of quality ball. Had a glorious chance early on to double the lead but scuffed her finished, whilst was ruled offside when she did find the back of the net.
Hayley Taylor-Young - 7.5
Heather Garriock rolled the dice by withdrawing a midfielder in favour of the young striker who scored 30 goals in NPL this season, but was rewarded with a match-winning cameo from the teenager. Taylor-Young provided instant energy and after forcing Willacy into a great save, she was on hand moments later to cooly double her side's lead with a neat finish in a crowded penalty area.
Ashlie Crofts - N/A
Brought on to provide some fresh legs in the final 10 minutes in the place of Charley.
Lauren Kier - N/A
Came on during stoppage time for the tiring Orgill and helped Canberra hold on.