PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
By Isaac McIntyre
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
3pm, Sunday 27th December, 2015
Popondetta Park, Sydney
The final match of the year for the Newcastle Jets Women comes up against the Western Sydney Wanderers away from home at Popondetta Park on the 27th December, after a series of disappointing defeats has left the Novocastrian girls reeling.
A strong defensive performance against the undefeated league leaders saw confidence running high for the Jets coming into last round, having held Melbourne City to only a single goal, but a defeat was still a defeat and a victory was desired against Adelaide at Magic Park.
Fortune turned against them however, as the girls sunk to a 5-1 defeat and now Craig Deans’ side must collect all three points in the match at Popondetta Park, or risk losing the progress they had made in the opening matches to many lost points.
The Wanderers have struggled in their last few matches as well, with a bye halting their progress last weekend. Also having collected nine points of two wins and three draws, the girls in red will be keenly seeking out a victory over the travelling Jets.
Vital is the only way to describe the need for a win for the Newcastle side now, with the team sitting three points outside the finals with a game in hand over the entire top four – if they lose to the Wanderers however, they could slip as far as 7th place and see their finals aspirations crumble.
With the return of Rhali Dobson and Chloe Logarzo from injury, Deans’ side will be hoping to bring back some much needed firepower and if they can find the back of the net off open play in Sydney – something they failed to do last weekend at Magic Park – they could easily find that their defensive talents carry them through the game.
Western Sydney Wanderers has no clearly defined attack in their line-up, a positive for the travelling side, with only two of their players netting more than once – Liz Grey and Carmelina Moscato. If they can be stopped in their attacking movements, the Wanderers may struggle to finish chances that are presented to them.
The final match of 2015 for the Newcastle Jets proves to be a turning point in the season for Deans’ side – if they fail to collect three points it could be the end of their finals run for the season and recovery may be in order.
If they can take three points away from the red and the black however, they may see their return to the elimination rounds come at the hands of the new manager, and a chance to prove that they can carry their defensive power all the way to the Grand Final of the W-League for 2015/16.