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Newcastle Jets have snapped Perth Glory’s four-match winning streak, holding the Westfield W-League title contenders to a 1-1 draw at Dorrien Gardens on Monday.
Glory dominated possession in the first half, but it was the Jets who drew first blood through Jenna Kingsley less than a minute after the half-time break.
It took another brilliant solo effort from Perth captain Samantha Kerr in the 69th minute to put the match back on level terms.
In a match which kicked off with the mercury sitting just below 33C, the first genuine chance did not come until the 32nd minute as both teams struggled to cope with the hot conditions.
Glory midfielders Nikki Stanton and Vanessa DiBernardo both sent long-range attempts over the bar before Kerr was brought down by Jets defender Grace Macintyre in the penalty area in the 36th minute.
DiBernardo stepped up to take the spot kick, but Jets goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland quickly moved to her left to deny Glory from taking the lead.
Kingsley capitalised on a rare defensive blunder by the home side immediately after the break, racing past two defenders before sidestepping goalkeeper Gabby Dal Busco and hammering the ball into an open net.
Jen Hoy almost doubled Newcastle’s lead just two minutes later, but Dal Busco was able to chase down the slow-moving ball and swat it away before it crossed the goal line.
Newcastle’s forwards continued to trouble the Glory defence, with Megan Oyster heading the ball into the headframe from a corner and Rhali Dobson also finding the woodwork from the follow-up attempt.
Kerr then took on three Jets defenders at the top of the box before carefully chipping the ball over Rowland’s head and registering her eighth goal of the season.
Dal Busco was called into action with just minutes remaining in the match to deny a powerful strike from Hoy, ensuring the teams each collected a point from the contest.
Newcastle Jets head coach, Craig Deans, was happy with the girls’ performance on the day and said the girls looked fit considering it was their third game in just eight days and deserved to have gotten the three points.
“We’re a little bit unlucky to not get the three points, I think the girls deserved more than the one point, we hit the post, and the crossbar and had a few other chances that we couldn’t put away.”
“But considering it was our third game in a week we finished strongly and were fit and worked really hard.”
“Playing against Perth, a team who hasn’t lost this season and us being the only team to beat them, wasn’t going to be an easy task.”
In regards to his players on the day, Deans said they were ‘outstanding’.
“Kaitlyn [Rowland] was outstanding on the day, she saved the penalty and made a few saves that not many other W-League goalkeepers could make.”
“I am really happy for Jenna [Kingsley] to score again, she deserves it for the amount of work she puts in and also really happy with Megan [Oyster] and Cass [Davis] at the back and Liana [Danaskos] and Clare Wheeler in the midfield, they were all outstanding as well.”
Leading into the bye this weekend, Deans said they will be working hard on what they have been doing at training in their lead-up to their match against Brisbane Roar on January 15.
“We’ve been starting to show a bit more compose at the games now, we missed [Arin] Gilli [from a corked quad] which has been a big loss so hopefully, she will be back.”
“Our last two performances have been good away from home, so now we need to work on the next three games.”
“We’ll be working on our quality in possession when we are attacking and keep working on our finishes. We are creating a lot of chances we just need to fine tune them,” Deans concluded.
Perth will stay at home this weekend and will face a confident Melbourne Victory on January 8.