Depleted Jets deliver second-half onslaught as finals dream lingers
On paper this was a match Newcastle Jets had no right to win.
After losing Emily Van Egmond midweek, not only their captain but a vital cog in midfield, the Jets’ Westfield W-League campaign looked done.
REPORT: Jets stun Glory
Throw in injuries to star forward Katie Stengel and Taylor Smith and sitting in second-last position on the ladder, Craig Deans’ side could be forgiven for already making plans for next year.
At half-time against the third-placed Glory they were a goal down courtesy of marquee Sam Kerr and you got the sense they were only barely holding on.
But whatever was said in that changeroom had an effect, clearly something just clicked.
The side sent out for those vital 45 minutes was almost unrecognisable despite having the same personnel.
They bombarded the Glory goal and crucially got their reward through strikes to Arin Wright, Tara Andrews and an injury-time effort from Cortnee Vine.
They outshot Perth 17 to 14 despite holding less than half (46 per cent) of the ball while their attack from the wide areas was clear to see, whipping in a mega 38 crosses compared to Glory’s 16.
While their attack will steal the headlines the efforts of the Jets’ defence cannot go unmentioned.
Up against one of the Westfield W-League’s best forward duos of Kerr and Rachel Hill, the home side racked up a 77 per cent tackle success rate and made 23 clearances all without a single player going into the book.
While still outside the top four all the Jets can do is keep on winning and more displays like this will surely see them in with a chance for post-season action.
For Perth meanwhile, this may just be a speedbump but it crucially leaves them only one point ahead of fifth-placed Adelaide United.
Despite a negative second-half there was a positive for Glory with Sam Kerr becoming only the second player in Westfield W-League history to bring up 50 goals for one club, the other being Michelle Heyman for Canberra United.