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The Newcastle Jets Women had an afternoon to forget at McDonald Jones Stadium, taking the lead inside the opening ten minutes against the Western Sydney Wanderers only to go down 2-1 in front of a strong Boxing Day crowd of 2,268.
The Jets opened the scoring against the run of play in the 8th minute when Emma Stanbury darted down the left edge and cut back a cross to Jenna Kingsley in the middle who headed home from point-blank range to give the Jets the lead.
However, less than four minutes later and the Wanderers were back level. First, defender Cassidy Davis cleared Katherine Stengel’s shot out of an open goal for a corner to save the Jets. From the ensuing corner though the ball pin-balled around in the six-yard box and Katherine Stengel stabbed it home to lock the match up.
With the wind at their back the Wanderers continued to push forward and create chances with Stengel and Page Neilsen creating all sorts of problems for the Jets defence. In the 30th minute the Wanderers took the lead with Stengel driving home into the back of the net after the Jets gave the ball away at the back.
The Wanderers passing and slick ball movement looked a class above as they headed to the sheds with a 2-1 lead.
After the break, the Jets came out a different side creating enough chances to take the lead in the opening ten minutes of the second half.
The best of them went to striker Jen Hoy in the 53rd minute who went one-one-one with Wanderers keeper Jada Mathyssen-Whyman only to be bowled over and a penalty awarded by referee Lara Lee. Hoy stepped up – looking to equal the Westfield W-League record of goals scored in consecutive matches – and curled her penalty into the right-hand post, ricocheting away from goal.
Hoy went within a whisker of equalising in the 81st minute when she hit the crossbar as she curled a right foot shot from the left side of the box towards the top right corner. It just seemed like it wasn’t the home sides afternoon.
Jets keeper Katleyn Rowland was strong again between the sticks making some key saves to keep the Jets in the match, but ultimately it was their finishing which let them down as the scoreline finished 2-1 to the Wanderers.
The loss also means Newcastle will be at long odds to make the finals, now five points off the pace with just five matches left in the season. The Jets will have little time to dwell on their defeat with a trip to Adelaide for a match against the Reds on Thursday night kicking off at 7.30pm.