The Newcastle Jets kept their finals dream alive after recording a 2-0 win over Adelaide United at Edgeworth Park on Saturday afternoon.

Goals from Tori Hunter in the 9th and Rhali Dobson in the 64th moved the Jets to within a point of third placed Canberra United and fourth placed Sydney FC.

The home side started brightly, running into the breeze, which caused problems for Adelaide United regarding balls into the penalty area.

In the ninth minute Emily Van Edmond delivered a cross from the left. The Breeze aided the cross to hang up in the air for Copus-Brown at the back post. Copus-Brown was able to get a touch with her header into the path of Tori Huster, who turned and slotted home into the bottom corner.

The Jets dominated the entire first half and, if not for some great saves from Melissa Barbieri could have been down 2 or 3 goals at half time.

Adelaide United just couldn’t get any attack going. The only chance of note from the first half was a chip from Monique Iannella, who spotted Southwell was off her line. Had the breeze not been behind her shot it may well have dropped in and levelled the scores.

That was the only time Southwell looked troubled in the Jets goal as the Jets continued to search for more.

After several chances to grab a second and seal the game, the Jets finally did in the 65th minute. Some great lead up work from the pacey Georgia Yeoman-Dale who turned two defenders inside out on her own before delivering a dangerous ball across the face of goal to find Rhali Dobson who slotted home.

Melissa Barbieri was the standout for Adelaide United:

Right from the first Jets corner Barbieri was in the action; Salem used the breeze to great effect, pushing her corner with the outside of her foot so if would hang up instead of swinging away. Andrews met it with a well-placed header that was destined for the top corner, only to be saved. One handed, by a full stretched Barbieri.

This was the first of many saves the former Matilda and Jet made to keep Adelaide, somewhat undeservingly in the contest. Not just for the first half but the entire match.

One of her best saves of the game came from the boot of Tara Andrews in the first half. Huster had the ball her own side of halfway and send a beautiful ball for Andrews who sped away from Adelaide defenders into the box. Her shot, once again looked bound for the back of the net. And again was saved sharply by Barbieri away to her right.

For the Jets Libby Copus-Brown was a standout. Getting her first start of the season to give the Jets even more pace in attack, Copus-Brown combined nicely with the other right sided speedster Georgia Yeomen-Dale. The caused trouble for the Reds all afternoon. Copus Brown showed some great vision and innovation and wasn’t overwhelmed by the occasion, grabbing an assist for the first goal and almost scoring one herself.

The Jets now travel down the F3 to face NSW rivals Sydney FC who face elimination from the finals race for the first time in W-League history.

The Jets will take confidence from the last meeting with Sydney where they lost narrowly 1-0 at home. They will know hoverer that they can’t afford to not put away their chances in front of goal if they are to make the finals.

No matter the result next weekend, all credit must go to the staff at Northern NSW Football. After a bleak season they recognised that you can’t compete in top level competition with a team of kids. With no funding from the A-League side they’ve created a balance between youth and experience.

The young players such as Libby Copus-Brown, Cassy Davis Claire Wheeler and Grace Macintyre have no doubt benefited from having the more experienced players in Hayley Crawford, Amber Nielson, and Emily van Egmond around to learn from.

This is side that can no longer be considered underdogs against the traditionally strong sides in Brisbane Roar, Sydney FC, Canberra and Melbourne. The results have proven this.

The future is bright for women’s football in Newcastle.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Tori Huster 9’, Rhali Dobson 64’)

Adelaide United 0

Saturday 29 November 2014

Jack McLaughlin Oval, Newcastle

Local kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Rachel Mitchenson

Newcastle Jets: Hannah Southwell (gk), Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Hayley Crawford, Katherine Reynolds, Angela Salem, Tori Huster, Tara Andrews (Clare Wheeler 80’), Emily van Egmond, Rhali Dobson, Elizabeth Copus-Brown (Amber Neilson 65’), Cassidy Davis (Brooke Miller 84’)

Substitutes – Claire Coelho (gk)

Adelaide United: Melissa Barbieri (gk), Monique Iannella, Danielle Brogan, Katrine Pedersen, Emily Condon, Lisa-Marie Woods, Daila-Tais Borg (Isabel Hodgson 46’), Rachel Alonso (Alexandra Chidiac 46’), Jenna McCormick, Katie Holtham (Tiarn Powell 74’), Kristy Moore

Substitutes – Sarah Willacy (gk)