Jets earn first point of W-League season with late goal

Newcastle have avoided the worst ever season in the Westfield W-League with an injury-time goal seeing them snatch a thrilling 2-2 draw against Adelaide.

The Newcastle Jets have avoided the worst ever season in the Westfield W-League with an injury-time goal seeing them snatch a thrilling 2-2 draw against Adelaide United at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle on Saturday afternoon.

It looked as if it was the Reds day when Adelaide skipper Kristy Moore bagged a first-half brace to give the visitors a 2-0 lead after half an hour, but the Jets fought back and Hannah Beard's goal saw the home side head to the interval trailing 2-1.

The match developed into an arm-wrestle in the second half but Newcastle managed to keep themselves out of the record books when skipper Gema Simon scored a header in injury-time to earn her side their first point of the season.

The point saw Newcastle avoid the worst ever W-League season on record, an unenviable distinction held by Adelaide, who finished their 2010/11 campaign with no wins and goal difference of -32.

Newcastle went into the match with no wins and goal difference of -37 so they were desperate for a win or a draw and they started the match with plenty of purpose dominating the early exchanges and the territory.

However it was the Reds who opened the scoring against the run of play when Moore took a long ball and fired it into top far corner of the net for a 1-0 lead after 10 minutes.

The Jets continued to push forward and went perilously close to scoring in the 16th minute when Rhali Dobson hit the post before Beard saw her follow-up shot pushed around the post. From the corner Jets defender Ciara McCormack saw her goal-bound shot tipped over the bar by Reds goal-keeper Melissa Barbieri.

The home side threatened again when Barbieri parried away Beard's sharp shot before the Reds custodian saved from point-blank range when Tara Andrews fired from six-yards out in a crowded penalty box.

The visitors doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark in almost a carbon copy of their first goal. A quick counter attack against the run of play found Moore in space on the edge of the box and she drilled a shot off the underside of the crossbar for a 2-0 lead.

The Jets got due reward for their endeavour when they pulled a goal back just three minutes later when Beard did well to beat two players in the box before firing across Barbieri and inside the far post to make it 2-1 after 32 minutes.

Adelaide finished the half the better with Louise Mason and Tiarn Powell having half-chances as the visitors went to the interval leading 2-1.

The Reds came out with more purpose in the second half and threatened early with Moore's pace causing the Jets defence plenty of problems on the right wing. Moore sent a number of crosses into the box, but the Newcastle defenders did well to diffuse the situation.

Beard continued to make inroads for the Jets up front but the Reds defence held firm and Barbieri was rarely troubled in the second stanza.

Both sides made a number of changes with the Jets bringing on attackers Grace MacIntyre and Jasmin Courtney in an attempt to salvage a result, while the Reds bolstered their defence with Jess Nagel and Daniela Di Bortolo.

With time ticking down Adelaide 'parked the bus' and Ciara McCormack looped a long-ball into the box where Newcastle's hard-working skipper Gema Simon fittingly leapt above the pack and headed over Barbieri and into an open net to snatch a thrilling late 2-2 draw, sending the boisterous home crowd into delirium.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Hannah Beard 32, Gema Simon 90+1) Adelaide United 2 (Kristy Moore 10, 29)

Newcastle Jets 1. Eliza Campbell (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer, 3. Stacey Day, (13. Jasmin Courtney 78min), 4. Siahn Bozanic (6. Ashley Spina 46min). 5. Ciara McCormack, 7. Gema Simon (capt) 9. Tara Andrews, 10. Rhali Dobson, 12. Hannah Beard, 16. Cassidy Davis, 18. Clare Wheeler (11. Grace MacIntyre 55min)

Unused sub: 20. Claire Coelho (GK)

Adelaide United 1. Melissa Barbieri (GK), 6. Laura Stockdale, 8. Emily Condon (19. Daniele Di Bartolo 60min), 9. Lisa-Marie Woods, 10. monique Ianella, 12. Daila-Tais Borg, 15. Jenna McCormick, 17. Tiarn Powell (18. Jess Nagel 86min), 21. Snez Veljanovska, 23. Kristy Moore (capt), 24.Louise Mason (7. Rachel Quigley 50min).

Unused sub: 20. Kelly Barltrop (GK)

Chat with representatives from your local club and meet Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League stars at Play Football Day this Saturday & Sunday at Westfield centres.

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