Newcastle Jets have produced a determined effort to avoid the Westfield W-League wooden spoon with a 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory.
The Newcastle Jets have produced a determined effort to avoid the Westfield W-League wooden spoon with a fighting 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory at Wanderers Oval on Sunday afternoon.
The Victory raced to a 2-0 lead courtesy of early goals to Amy Jackson and Enza Barilla.
But the Jets fought back with strikes to Jasmin Courtenay and Emily van Egmond to see the sides locked 2-2 at half-time.
The Victory regained the lead on the hour mark when Barilla poked home following a goal-mouth scramble.
But the home side had the last say six minutes from full-time when van Egmond converted from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Brianna Davey dragged down Jets substitute Kate Hensman.
The draw sees the Jets finish equal on six points with Adelaide United but in seventh place courtesy of a superior goal difference while the point ensures the Victory have recorded their best season with a third-place finish, and they will go into their third consecutive semi-final campaign confident after a solid effort against a very determined Jets outfit.
The match started in mild overcast conditions and it was the Victory who got off to a great start with a goal in just the third minute of play.
Jackson floated in a cross from the left wing but it held up in the wind and bounced off the far post, then off Jets goalkeeper Eliza Campbell before trickling across the line to make it 1-0.
The Jets tried to claw their way back into the contest with striker Tara Andrews earning a free kick on the edge of the area.
Tori Huster curled her shot over the wall but it skimmed narrowly wide of the far post.
Down the other end the Victory were pushing hard for a second goal with Stephanie Catley and Jessica McDonald having shots denied by good saves from Campbell.
The visitors eventually profited from their pressure on the half-hour mark when Barilla got on the end of a loose clearance from the Jets and hooked a shot through a crowded penalty box and into the corner of the net to make it 2-0 to the Victory.
The Jets hit back five minutes before half-time when Tara Andrews launched a shot from inside the area.
It came off the crossbar where striker Courtenay was on hand to pounce on the loose ball and stroke home the Jets’ first.
The hosts equalised two minutes later when Andrews again had her shot blocked but the ball skimmed out to van Egmond on the edge of the area who smashed a sizzling volley into the back of the net to level the score 2-2 at the half-time break.
Both sides started the second half cautiously but the Jets almost grabbed the lead in the 55th minute when Andrews pounced on an errant back pass from the Victory left-back Rebekah Stott.
The lanky Jets striker took the ball into the box to go one-on-one with Melbourne goalkeeper Davey, but the Victory custodian did magnificently to push the shot around the post.
The Victory regained the lead on the hour mark when the Jets failed to clear consecutive corners.
Barilla stabbed a shot toward goal where Jets skipper Hayley Crawford attempted a reflex clearance on the line but sent the ball into the corner of the net to put Melbourne back in front 3-2.
Newcastle didn’t give up and Crawford pushed forward before launching a long ball through for substitute Kate Hensman who had got in behind the Victory defence.
She tried to take the ball around Davey but the Melbourne goalkeeper dragged her down and referee Lara Smith had no hesitation awarding the penalty.
Van Egmond stepped up to the spot and although Davey dived the right way she was beaten by a searing low shot from the Matilda as it flew into the corner of the net to make it 3-3 with six minutes to play.
Both sides had late chances to win the contest.
Van Egmond looped a long-range effort into the arms of Davey after Huster had found space on the right wing before Barilla saw her rising volley tipped over the bar by Campbell deep in stoppage time.
Newcastle Jets 3(Jasmin Courtenay 40, Emily van Egmond 42, 84p)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Amy Jackson 4, Enza Barilla 33, 62)
1. Eliza Campbell (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer, 3 Hayley Crawford (c), 5 Tori Huster, 7. Gema Simon, .9. Tara Andrews (13. Bronte Bates 86), 10. Emily van Egmond, 15. Alisha Foote ( 14. Sammara Schmitzer 86), 16. Stacey Day, 17. Mikaela Howell, (11. Kate Hensman 46), 19. Jasmin Courtenay
Unsed substitute 20 Alannah Rosewood (GK).
1. Briana Davey (GK), 2. Danielle Johnson (c), 3. Maika Ruyter-Hooley, 4. Rebekah Stott, 5. Laura Spiranovic (11. Caitlin Friend 87), 6. Petra Larsson, 7. Stephanie Catley, 10. Jessica McDonald, 14. enza Barilla, 15. Amy Jackson (23. Jessica Humble 83), 17. Gulcan Koca.
Unused substitutes: 18. Cindy Lay, 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK).