Bolger on the scoreboard | (Credit: Getty Images)
A 10-player Newcastle Jets side has held on for a well-earned 3-1 win over the Perth Glory in their postponed Week 6 Westfield W-League clash at Adamstown Oval on Wednesday afternoon.The Jets controlled the match from the outset with striker Tara Andrews giving the home side the lead midway through the first half. Second-half strikes to Nicola Bolger and Emily van Egmond gave Newcastle a deserved 3-0 lead after an hour’s play.
But Glory came back into the match after Jets defensive midfielder Hannah Brewer was sent off after picking up her second yellow card in the 67th minute and the visitors used their numerical advantage for Katie Holtham to make it 3-1 with 12 minutes remaining.
Perth pushed hard to force a comeback but the Jets defence held on to record a much-needed victory.
The win sees Newcastle move to within four points of the top four with three rounds left to play while Perth remains at the bottom of the table.
After being washed out a month ago the match started in perfect conditions with blue skies and a light breeze in front of a healthy crowd for a Wednesday afternoon and it was the home side that dominated from the opening whistle.
The Jets racked up numerous chances inside the for 15 minutes with Bolger, Andrews and Gema Simon all having clear cut shots only to be twarted by good goalkeeping from Perth custodian Mackenzie Arnold.
Newcastle eventually profited from its pressure when Andrews pounced on a parried save from Arnold after a vicious shot from 15 yards from Bolger, to poke home for a 1-0 lead after 23 minutes.
Glory were dealt a body blow shortly after when right back Erika Elze was stretchered from the field with a knee injury. Danielle Calautti came on in the four-man defensive line.
The Jets continued to control play and should have put away some more strong chances except for some scrambling defence from Perth and another fantastic save from Arnold who pushed away a rocket from Bolger to send the teams to the break with the hosts leading 1-0.
Newcastle picked up where they left off in the first half creating a host of chances and they deservedly doubled their advantage in the 55th minute. Van Egmond showed great skill to weave her way into the box before sliding a pass to Bolger who calmly steered the ball into the corner of the net from right in front.
The Jets got their third moments later when van Egmond chased up a great through ball to streak into the box. She then rounded Arnold before poking into the empty net to make it 3-0 after an hour’s play.
The Jets were cruising before they were reduced to 10 players after Brewer was shown her second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Ella Mastrantonio.
Perth sniffed the chance of a comeback and clicked up a gear and they duly pulled one back when striker Katie Holtham did well to shake her marker and head home a looping corner in the 78th minute.
Holtham went close a minute later when she was put through on goal only to see Jets goalkeeper penalised for handling outside the area after diving on the ball at the striker’s feet.
Holtham sent her subsequent free-kick into the wall and Mastrantonio skied her follow-up wide of the target.
Glory held the momentum for the remainder of the match controlling the midfield but the Jets adjusted their formation with van Egmond dropping back in defence to ensure the hosts collected a much needed victory.
Newcastle Jets 3 (Andrews 23, Bolger 55, van Egmond 60)
Perth Glory 1 (Holtham 78)