PHOTO: Sproule Sports Focus
In a match which had just about everything, Jets striker Jen Hoy was the hero as a goal two minutes into stoppage time helped to keep their finals hopes flickering with just two matches to spare.
The crowd of 2,146 certainly got their money’s worth with three goals, two penalties – one of which was saved and a red card in the home side’s pulsating 2-1 victory over the Roar.
It was Newcastle though who started the match as the stronger side, running into a strong northerly breeze in the first half as Brisbane struggled to make their passes stick. They were rewarded in the 9th minute when Hoy headed home at the near post from a pinpoint Grace Macintyre cross.
The Jets held Brisbane for much of the half until against the run of play, the ball deflected to Roar midfielder Amy Chapman just inside the top of the box. Jets’ defender Cassidy Davis stuck a boot out and tripped Chapman leaving Patterson no option but to point to the spot and award a penalty to the visitors.
Roar leading scorer Tameka Butt stepped up and rolled the penalty low towards the bottom left corner, just beyond the reach of Katelyn Rowland in the Jets goal, who got a hand to it but was unable to keep it out.
The sides headed to the sheds at 1-1, and it was the visitors who came out a totally different outfit. Brisbane’s Katrina Gorry had the ball on a string and was causing headaches for the Jets’ defence, with creating a golden chance until the match turned when Brisbane goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold was sent from the field.
Arnold’s controversial sending off in the 81st minute was the major talking point post-match. Arnold, after catching a cross, bumped off Jets striker Jen Hoy with her left shoulder and raised her elbow after the contact which didn’t seem to collect Hoy.
Referee Katie Patterson stopped play and after a short chat to her assistant gave Arnold her marching orders. Brisbane Captain Claire Polkinghorne remonstrated with Patterson after the decision, but it was to no avail.
Substitute goalkeeper Georgina Worth was thrown into the fire immediately, having to face a penalty from Jets midfielder Arin Gilliland. Gilliland hit it like a rocket at Worth who brilliantly jumped up to her right and brilliantly parried it over the bar with her left hand as the ball headed towards the middle of the goal.
However, It was the Jets who would bounce back from that disappointment in stoppage time when Rhali Dobson – fresh off the bench – darted down the right and angled into the right edge of the six-yard box before playing a composed pass – drawing in Worth in the process – square to Hoy who tapped home to the delight of the 2,146 home fans.
The entertainment didn’t stop there as the Roar almost snatched a late point with the last kick of the game. Claire Polkinghorne scooped her shot at an empty net over the bar after Rowland fumbled a free kick.
The win puts Newcastle into 6th spot with two matches to play, two points behind Melbourne City who they play in the final round.