PHOTO: Getty Images
Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City
Round 14 – 5.20pm Saturday 27th January at Coffs Harbour International Stadium
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Overall Head to Head:
Newcastle Jets 0
Melbourne City 2
2016/17 – Round 1: Melbourne City 1 (Tabain 7’) Newcastle Jets 0 at CB Smith Reserve. Attendance: 677 Referee: Kate Jacewicz
Where they sit on the Ladder:
Newcastle Jets FC 5th (15pts)
Melbourne City 4th (17pts)
Past 3 Starts (Most Recent First):
Jets – Won Sydney 3-1 (a), Won Roar 2-1 (h), Drew Glory 1-1 (a)
City – Won Roar 3-1 (h), Lost Victory 0-2 (a), Drew Sydney 1-1 (a)
It’s been a month to remember for the Jets Women, seemingly out of finals contention after a Boxing Day to forget against the Wanderers, they have gone four matches undefeated to equal a club record. A win against Melbourne City on Friday and the Jets will break their eight year finals drought as well as break another drought, beating City for the first time in the Westfield W-League.
It will be a finals-like atmosphere come Friday in Coffs Harbour in the last round of the Westfield W-League. The Jets Women have faced heartbreak over the past two seasons, finishing a win outside the top four last season and just a point from a finals berth the season before. Will it be a case of third time lucky?
The memorable month started with a 2-2 draw in Adelaide and before another draw – this time in Perth – 1-1 against the Glory. A return home and the Jets Women finally got some of the luck which has deserted them this season, scoring in the last minute to defeat Brisbane 2-1, before last weekend thumping the ladder leading Sydney FC 3-1.
Records will go on the line for the Jets on the North Coast with victory against Melbourne City breaking a record for the Jets. Never before have the Jets Women won more than two matches in a row. A win or a draw will also break the club’s record for most matches undefeated which currently stands at four matches.
The Jets opponents Melbourne City have had more ups and downs than a rollercoaster over the course of this season. After the opening five rounds they had played four matches and won each of them, sitting top of the league. However, since then it has been an uphill battle, as City have won just one match, drawn two and lost four. There has been no better time than now for the Jets Women to beat the defending champions in the Westfield W-League.
But, in saying City’s form has been poor, last weekend they won their first match since round five, with a 3-1 defeat of Brisbane Roar. The question is whether Melbourne are back in form, or whether last weekend’s showing was just a ‘flash in the pan.’
Arin Gilliland has been a key player for the Jets all season and deservedly scored a hat-trick against Sydney FC last weekend. She has controlled the midfield superbly in each match she has played and City will need to be wary of her threat on Friday.
Another import will be crucial for City in the final round match of the season, in defender Rebekah Stott. Stott scored two goals last weekend but it has been the New Zealander’s work at the back which has helped City have the second best defence in the Westfield W-League behind Sydney. Stott has played every minute this season for City and at just 23 has played 49 times for the Football Ferns.
Melbourne City are the only Westfield W-League side the Jets have not beaten over the history of the competition, going down 1-0 in both matches including 1-0 in the opening round this season. With the second and third best defences in the competition doing battle, expect a tight contest.
Key: While both sides defence has been tight this season, in front of goal is where their stats differ from the top three sides. Whichever side makes the most of their opportunities will go a long way to deciding this one.