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Newcastle Jets downed leaders Sydney FC 3-1 on Saturday as the Novocastrians strengthened their Westfield W-League finals series hopes with an impressive performance.
A second half hat-trick to Arin Gilliland sealed the points for the away side, as Kyah Simon got her name on the scoresheet with a consolation goal for the Sky Blues in the dying minutes.
The first half opened with the Jets pressing the Sky Blues high and forcing turnovers, however, they were susceptible on the break as Caitlin Foord latched onto a ball over the top before firing wide in the third minute.
Simon found Francisca Ordega with a teasing ball minutes later, however, the Nigerian couldn’t steer it in. The Jets forced chances of their own with Jennifer Hoy and Gilliland looking lively but a solid Sky Blues defence from Georgia Yeoman-Dale and Elizabeth Ralston kept them at bay.
Leena Khamis and Alanna Kennedy threatened towards the end of the first half, however, the two sides went in at the break with the scores locked at nil all.
The second half opened slowly with both sides enjoying spells of possession, however, 10 minutes into the half and the Jets took the lead as Gilliland pounced on a bouncing ball following a goalmouth scramble to prod home past Sham Khamis in goal.
The Sky Blues searched for an immediate reply as Ordega struck an effort wide of goal before Gilliland grabbed her second with a looping header over the keeper following a cross from deep in the 74th minute.
With time ticking down Gilliland sealed her hat-trick as she capitalised on an error from Khamis to slot into an empty net before Simon bagged a consolation goal in stoppage time.
Newcastle Jets coach Craig Deans was happy with how well the girls played on the weekend especially from coming off a win the previous weekend.
“We made a bit of a slow start in the first half but we defended well to keep the score at nil all at half time,” Deans said.
“At half-time, we spoke a little bit about what we needed to do, to create more chances and to keep the ball a bit better and the girls definitely did that in the second half, fortunately with Gilli [Arin Gilliland) scoring three which was good to see.”
“Hopefully for this Friday [against Melbourne City] we can perform as well as what we have been the last two weeks.”
“All round, our game has been good, we have defended strongly and we have been scoring goals, we just need to continue on with that type of football.”
“The girls are looking forward to travelling to Coffs for our final match, hopefully, we can get a big enough crowd there and they can see some good quality football,” Deans concluded.
Whilst the Jets face a ‘do or die’ match on Friday against the defending champions, Sydney FC travel to Adelaide United on Sunday for their final round.