A crowd of 3,210 people took in arguably the game of the season as the Newcastle Jets played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Perth Glory.
After a lacklustre first half, the game bust into life for the final fifteen minutes with five goals in quick succession.
Newcastle Jets: What went right?
The Jets had the better of an uneventful first half in which both teams struggled to really string good consistent play together. Going into the match it had the feel of a finals fixture and the first 60 minutes certainly played out that way.
The Jets worked well as a unit with Van Egmond creating three significant first half chances, sending both Stengel and Gilliland in behind the defence with well weighted through balls with the latter able to round the keeper and finish into an empty net.
They also defended well for 75 minutes against the Glory and Sam Kerr who was the focal point of Perth’s attack.
The key to this was the defensive smarts of Brewer, Davis and Orgil who would foul her whenever she looked to be dangerous in key areas. A tactic that was just enough to try and nullify Kerr’s effect on the game.
In summery coach Craig Deans praised his team’s fighting character to come back from a goal down twice to share the points.
This is a characteristic that has been prevalent this season that not only demonstrates just how far the team has come but what sort of impact key/experienced players and combinations can do, particularly the link up play between Van Egmond and Gilliland, who is enjoying being unleashed further up the pitch in her new role as a winger.
After many false dawns, the Jets had finally come of age and proved they may just have what it takes to produce something special this season.
What went wrong for Newcastle?
After defending well for 75 minutes of the match the Jets kind of lost their heads. Whilst they could do little about the first Kerr goal they could have defended a little better on the final two.
Breakdowns in communication at the back that could have been put down to a bit of panic settling in leading to both crosses not being cleared and the ball could just drop nicely at the feet of Kerr who isn’t going to miss from there in her current form.
In attack the Jets needed to take their chances as a one goal lead was never going to be enough.
Katie Stengel had a key 1v1 chance in the first half after a beautiful ball from Van Egmond split the defenders. She was clear in acers of space and perhaps had too much time and took too long to pull the trigger on her shot. By the time she had help had arrived in the form of Amanda Frisbie who was able to get her body in the way and block the shot.
Moments later Kingsley had a right foot volley that beat the keeper only to crash against the base of the post.
On another day those chances will fall their way and they could have been 2-0 or more by half time.
The Glory showed their class through Sam Kerr who channelled her frustration in the right way after coming in for what she felt was heavy treatment and a lack of protection.
“I was angry after I scored (indirectly suggesting the challenge from Brewer could have been the tipping point) and I’m still angry now, but happy to help out the team”
Kerr was also harsh on herself for missing a free header from point blank range after the Jets had equalised in what would have been a match winner.
In defence the Glory could have also done a little better to prevent Newcastle’s second goal.
From a corner, the ball was partially punched away by Maizels but not far enough to be safely out of danger into the path of Gilliland who was able to knock it in for Vine and then Stengel to get the final touch and poke it home.
The W-League breaks next week for Christmas with a return for action for both clubs on Friday the 29th of December.
Newcastle Jets are away in the match of the day, facing Melbourne Victory at 5pm with the inclusion of club legend Gema Simon a possibility while Perth Glory return home for the first time in over a month as they face new leaders Brisbane Roar.