Newcastle Jets have snapped Perth Glory’s four-match winning streak, holding the Westfield W-League title contenders to a 1-1 draw at Dorrien Gardens on Monday.
Glory dominated possession in the first half, but it was the Jets who drew first blood through Jenna Kingsley less than a minute after the half-time break.
It took another brilliant solo effort from Perth captain Samantha Kerr in the 69th minute to put the match back on level terms.
In a match which kicked off with the mercury sitting just below 33C, the first genuine chance did not come until the 32nd minute as both team struggled to cope with the hot conditions.
Glory midfielders Nikki Stanton and Vanessa DiBernardo both sent long-range attempts over the bar before Kerr was brought down by Jets defender Grace Macintyre in the penalty area in the 36th minute.
DiBernardo stepped up to take the spot kick, but Jets goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland quickly moved to her left to deny Glory from taking the lead.
Kingsley capitalised on a rare defensive blunder by the home side immediately after the break, racing past two defenders before sidestepping goalkeeper Gabby Dal Busco and hammering the ball into an open net.
Jen Hoy almost doubled Newcastle’s lead just two minutes later, but Dal Busco was able to chase down the slow-moving ball and swat it away before it crossed the goal line.
Newcastle’s forwards continued to trouble the Glory defence, with Megan Oyster heading the ball into the headframe from a corner and Rhali Dobson also finding the woodwork from the follow-up attempt.
Kerr then took on three Jets defenders at the top of the box before carefully chipping the ball over Rowland’s head and registering her eighth goal of the season.
Dal Busco was called into action with just minutes remaining in the match to deny a powerful strike from Hoy, ensuring the teams each collected a point from the contest.
Kerr said her team was disappointed with their performance and was unable to explain why they were flat after an impressive run of form in preceding matches.
“We’ve taken pride in our performances over the last couple of weeks and it was disappointing to let that one go, but tomorrow’s a new day and we’ll look to Melbourne Victory next Sunday,” Kerr said.
“To be honest, I can’t put my finger on it. I felt I was a bit off too. The whole team looked to pass behind and step behind a lot.
“I don’t know if that’s because of a quick succession of games or the mentality wasn’t right, but we’ll talk about it over the week and hopefully fix that for the Victory game.”
Newcastle captain Gema Simon said her side was also disappointed not to have collected maximum points.
“We came here looking for three and we definitely need to keep our finals hopes alive,” Simon said.
“The girls played pretty well today, it was one of our better games defensively, but we’re kind of disappointed with just the one point.
“We’ll definitely take the positives out of this game and look forward to our break next game. We’ve had three games in eight days now, so it will be good to get back and give the body a rest.”