PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
BY ISAAC MCINTYRE
As Christmas looms at the end of the year, a final fixture before the festive season brings the Newcastle Jets a chance to take a crucial win over one of the teams that is level on points so far.
Adelaide United have taken nine points from their last eight matches and sit in fifth place – just below the Jets on the ladder in the battle for the finals. Three losses have boosted them onwards in their press for an elimination appearance and Magic Park’s three points on offer is awfully tempting for the Lady Reds.
The Jets proved it was going to be no easy task in the opening minutes of the match however, with their attack pressing at Adelaide’s goal mouth and only a miss-hit shot from Tara Andrews saved the Lady Reds from dropping behind the home side with less than ten minutes on the clock.
Adelaide took the confidence of the equal score to hit the Jets on a counter, creating a chance that United’s midfielder Abigail Dahlekemper was able to slot away, giving the away side an early lead in the opening fifteen minutes of the match.
A run from Gema Simon put the Jets on the attack inside Adelaide’s box and although a chance to Adriana Jones’ feet was a missed chance, her cross back into the box caught the hands of a Lady Red defender, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.
Under the heat of the midday sun, Tara Andrews took a short run up and slotted the ball into the top right hand corner of the net, putting the home side back on level terms and opening the game up for both sides once more.
A mistake from Elizabeth Milne on the edge of the eighteen yard box gave Jenna Kingsley a chance to push towards the goals, but the lay-off to Jones bounced past, with Kingsley jumping back on the ball and attempting a shot – an attempt that came to nothing but a clearance.
Moments later, Allira Toby found the back of the net off a set-piece that gave Adelaide the lead once more and the Jets found themselves down by a goal for the second time in the match.
Adelaide’s lead remained going into the second half, and they opened strongly, testing the Jets’ goals with a shot from Toby that curled wide at the last minute, sparing Hannah Southwell from making a diving save.
A tactical change from Craig Deans brought on Rhali Dobson up top for the Jets and her impact was immediately felt, with two attacks in a row coming from her runs down the left wing, but an offside call halted the momentum and gave Adelaide breathing room once more.
A team-splitting through ball to Rosie Sutton gave Adelaide a dangerous breakaway, with Sutton one-on-one with Hannah Southwell, who did well to block the first shot, but without control of the ball Sutton was able to scoop it up once more and place it into the open net, giving the Lady Reds a two goal buffer at Magic Park.
One final push from the away side gave them another goal on the scoresheet, with Emily Condon smashing a long ranged shot into the back of the net, driving a mountain between the Jets and victory, a lead that was extended by Dahlkemper as she claimed her brace.
The mountain proved too big for the Newcastle Jets to climb as Adelaide sat back in defence and the Lady Reds’ five goals were converted into three points on the ladder.
The biggest loss of the season puts Newcastle in a worrying position as they head into the Christmas fixtures, but their eyes must turn to their battle at Western Sydney Wanderers on the 27th December, where three points are now vital to their finals hopes.
Adelaide will be pleased to take a strong win before their week off with the bye, but when they return on the 3rd January they will face another challenge in the form of Brisbane Roar back at home, when they will look to secure their foothold in the top four and stake their claim for a chance at the W-League Grand Final.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Tara Andrews 19’ pen)
Adelaide United 5 (Abby Dahlkemper 14’, 94’, Elizabeth Milne 26’, Rosie Sutton 75’, Emily Condon 90’)
Saturday 19 December 2015
Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Referee: Kelly Jones
Newcastle Jets: Hannah Southwell (gk), Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Cassidy Davis, Gema Simon (c), Tara Andrews, Adriana Jones (Rhali Dobson 59’), Siahn Bozanic (Clare Wheeler 46’), Jenna Kingsley (Sophie Nenadovic 75’), Hannah Bromley
Substitutes – Claire Coelho (gk)
Cautions – none
Adelaide United: Kaitlyn Savage (gk), Lauren Steer, Alexandra Gummer, Sarah Killion, Allira Toby (Emily Condon 66’), Chantelle Ryder, Rosie Sutton (Matilda McNamara 92’), Elizabeth Milne (c), Abigail Dahlkemper, Tiarn Powell (Georgia Campagnale 78’), Lorena Maggio
Substitutes – Claudia Jenkins (gk)
Cautions – Lorena Maggio 29’