Debut Goals And A Frantic Finish

Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 Newcastle Jets

By Kris Goman (18/12/21).

Above: A tussle for the ball between Wanderers and Jets last night. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets.

A nail-biting end-to-end game saw the first-ever draw in a game between Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets. Two debut goals and a substantial number of near misses left the crowd enthralled on a sunny afternoon at Wanderers Park.

Wanderers were coming into the match winless and goalless after a first-round draw with Wellington Phoenix and a loss at the hands of Sydney last week. Newcastle start on a high after thrashing Phoenix last week but, similarly, losing to Sydney the week prior.

Newcastle are celebrating a couple of milestones this week with Emily Van Egmond playing her 100th W/A-League Women game and Cass Davis playing her 100th consecutive W/A-League Women match – all for Newcastle Jets. She’s literally played in every single match the Newcastle Jets have played since the 2013/2014 season.

Newcastle are playing in their white away strip and the Wanderers are in their familiar black and red. Wanderers kick-off.

Photo: @WSWanderers

Elizabeth Eddy gives an early foul on Teigan Collister for hanging on to her in the tackle. The free-kick lands with Brylee Henry who heads it but it’s sent out for the first corner. Libby Copus-Brown’s kick goes to Claire Hunt but she can’t direct her header down and it lands on top of the net. Wanderers are applying pressure early on.

Eddy takes a long shot from almost the sideline to goal. It’s a long way and easily gathered by Sarah Langman, under no pressure.

Hunt loses the ball during an attempted dribble out of the box and is relieved by Ashlee Brodigan. Caitlin Cooper rushed back to use her body to see the ball over the byline safely as Brodigan’s shot goes wide.

Emily Van Egmond receives a quality ball into the box but turned and cut it back instead of shooting. There was no one there for her pass. Seemed to be a golden opportunity wasted.

Hannah Brewer gets a yellow for a late tackle on Erica Halloway. A pass across the goal is missed by Sheridan Gallagher. Halloway connects but it hits the post in a very close attempt.

Out of the blue, Tiana Jaber gets a pass from Davis, cuts back and takes a very long shot from downtown, and unleashes a missile that goes over Langman’s fingertips and hits the back of the net. Jets go up 1-0 at 21 minutes in.

Above: Newcastle Jets celebrate Tiana Jaber’s goal. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets.

Henry is awarded a free-kick after a rumble with Davis. It’s in a good spot to retaliate. Copus-Brown takes it after returning to the field from an asthma attack but Taren King heads it out. Copus-Brown takes the corner which is cleared by Van Egmond.

The Jets retaliate and Brodigan passes to Sunny Franco in the box but she can’t get onto the ball and Langman collects it.

Looks like Copus-Brown hasn’t recovered from her asthma issues and comes off to be replaced by Rosie Galea at 28 minutes.

Georgia Boric distributed out from goal straight to Galea but she passed to Gallagher who was still coming back onside. Gallagher then finds herself offside again after a nice build-up into the box. Wanderers are now squandering chances.

Gallagher picked up the ball in the box, cuts back, and shoots low. Boric gets to it without too many problems. Galea has another shot immediately afterwards in a sustained Wanderers attack just before halftime. Danika Matos sees the half out by sending a curling pass into the box but Henry can’t get to it before Boric.

Above: Wanderers’ Erica Halloway (8) keeps her eyes on the ball against the Jets. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets..

Ashlie Crofts comes on for Collister at halftime. Wanderers come back on fighting. Brodigan gives away a free kick on the edge of the box but the free-kick comes to nothing as it’s well defended.

With 56 minutes played, and Sophie Harding replaces Brodigan. The 22-year-old is an imposing figure. Newcastle launch a spate of attacks and Tara Andrews sends a shot from the right straight to Langman. Van Egmond’s corner goes over the mob assembled in front of goal. Shortly after, Van Egmond crafts a long shot on goal but it’s just off target and goes to the right of goal. She’s certainly been successful before with those tactics but it doesn’t come off this time.

Up the other end, Galea shoots from the left. It crosses goal and goes just out to the right similar to Van Egmond’s shot. Gallagher can’t get to it. Galea misses another shot that goes wild, immediately after. Then Matos gets taken down by Brewer at top of the box. It’s a dangerous spot. Olivia Price takes it and it hits the left post hard. Henry’s follow-up goes high.

Harding, down the other end, beats Langman and has an open goal but Hunt comes in to clear in a heroic effort that saves a certain goal.

Alexia Apostolakis is on for Malia Steinmetz at 72 minutes. She took a pretty serious knock immediately prior so 15-year-old Alexia Apostolakis gets into her second game with the Wanderers with some decent minutes this time.

Above: Erica Halloway (left) tries to hold off Jets’ Sophie Harding. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets.

Harding cracks a shot from the left and Langman has it covered again. In a breakaway attack, Harding squares the ball to Franco but she shanks it and it goes off to the left in a missed golden opportunity.

Tara Andrews goes off at 77 minutes to be replaced by Jemma House.

Henry is pushed over by Eddy in the box during a cross. Galea gets the ball but it’s high over the crossbar. There are calls all over the park for a penalty but the referee isn’t listening. The bench is furious.

Jaber directs a pass to Franco in the box and she gets away a strong kick but it deflects off the boots of a defender. As the clock runs down, the game speeds up and the ball is all over the park. Build-up play is long gone and we’re in counterattack mode.

Gallagher to Galea and she tries another long shot. This is closer but it’s still out to the top left.

Above: Sunny Franco in possession for the Jets last night. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets.

Harding brings a ball down the side and crosses as she approaches goal but there’s no one there to tap it in.

A Galea corner hits the crossbar. The rebound is sent to heaven by Price. Shots on target are seriously lacking by the Wanderers. Another concerted attack ends in a cross by Cooper headed out by Crofts.

Back down the other end and it’s Franco to Harding dead centre for the shot. A big save by Langman out there on her own.

Another bending shot by Galea goes straight into the arms of Boric. At least it’s finally on target.

A ball comes down the centre from Price through a series of headers. Gallagher gets it to Crofts who lobs it over Boric to finally get the equalizer right on 90 minutes and not before time. The hometown crowd erupts. It’s 1-1 with four minutes of extra time.

Apostolakis brings the ball downfield and gets it out to Galea but her shot is wide again.

A big ball in from the Jets sees Langman do an Aussie Rules-style jump to get the ball. It’s just up and down the field constantly. Another shot by Gallagher is too soft and gathered by Boric. It’s crazy scenes as both teams tries everything to take the lead and the three points.

Above: Sarah Langman bravely gathers the ball. Photo: Getty Images via Newcastle Jets.

Price evades a few players and Cooper shoots but it’s straight to Boric again.

Halloway gets taken down by House with a shoulder to the chest and looks to be in some considerable pain. Sarah Morgan comes on for Halloway in the dying seconds to make her WSW debut.

Another Wanderers attack is saved by Van Egmond. We’re in extra, extra time. One more attack by the Jets sees Hunt head it away and it finally finishes in a draw. Everyone is exhausted, including the spectators. It’s the first time these teams have ever drawn.

It seems a fair result given the see-sawing nature of the game. Possession was fairly even. Wanderers had 20 shots to Jets’ 14 but only six were on target. But then only four of Jets’ were too. Notably, Jets had 13 fouls to Wanderers six. Most other stats were pretty even. Interestingly, both goals were their first in the ALW for Jaber and Crofts. Seems only fitting that both teams take a point from the match.

Above: Clare Hunt – another strong performance for the Wanderers. Photo: @WSWanderers

Speaking after the game, Wanderers’ debutant goalscorer Ashlie Crofts spoke of her joy: “It was pretty awesome! I’m from Western Sydney so to get a debut goal for this club is amazing. All I wanted was three points, but I’ll take a goal!

“It’s crazy, I used to be a member of the club, I went to the old Pirtek Stadium, sing with the fans, so to play for this awesome club. I’ll keep giving it everything I’ve got. As soon as I heard I would be on the bench, everyone I know wanted a ticket to come down!

“We’re happy with a point, but disappointed not to get three. We’ll review the game, see what we need to work on, get back to training, and hopefully take all three points against Sydney FC next week.”

Teams: WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS (4-4-2): Langman (GK), Matos, Cooper, Hunt, Halloway(c), Price, Copus-Brown, Steinmetz, Collister, Henry, Gallagher. Substitutes: Khamis (GK), Galea, Crofts, Morgan, Apostolakis

Scorer: Crofts 90’

NEWCASTLE JETS (4-2-3-1): Boric (GK), Jaber, King, Brewer, Eddy, Davis (c), Van Egmond, Johnson, Franco, Brodigan, Andrews. Substitutes: Coelho (GK), House, Harding, Allan, Morley.

Scorer: Jaber 21’

Referee: Casey Reibelt.

Attendance: 496.

Impetus’ coverage of Australian Women’s Football is supported by The Chicken Salt Co. They are offering every Impetus reader 5% off all orders of Chicken Salt from their website. Go to https://www.chickensalt.co.uk/?mate=impetus and place your order – 5% will automatically be taken off of the cost. The coupon code is impetus.

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