W-League: Round 5

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 in this afternoons Westfield W-League Rnd 5 clash against Melbourne Victory.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 in this afternoons Westfield W-League Rnd 5 clash against Melbourne Victory, with the clock the Jets worst enemy with both Melbourne goals scored in the dying seconds of injury time in each half.

Melbourne Victory-s first goal was scored right on 45 minutes by Katrina Gorry, whilst their second goal, to break what appeared to be a certain 1-1 draw, was scored in the third and final minute of injury time in the second half by Deanna Niceski.

The game looked set for a draw after Newcastle leveled on 61 minutes through new signing Renee Cartwright, but Niceski managed to fire home with virtually the last kick of the game on the 93 minute mark to gift the Victory the 2-1 win.
The game, played at Bulleen’s Veneto Club, was the first Westfield W-League fixture ever played on artificial turf after it was moved earlier in the week due to the poor condition of Bob Jane Stadium’s surface.

The win now sees the Victory move up to third on the Westfield W-League ladder ahead of the remaining fixtures in Round 5, whilst the loss for the Jets leaves them still at the bottom of the Westfield W-League ladder.

It was the home side that looked most at ease on the foreign surface in the first half with the Victory girls full of run despite the 30 degree heat.

Melbourne looked lively in the opening exchanges with Kara Mowbray finding plenty of space on the left wing, only to spurn two good chances while through on goal.

On 38 minutes Mowbray crossed in for Katie Thorlakson to tap home, but the celebrations where short lived with the referee calling it back for offside.

For all their dominance it looked as if the Victory would go into the main break without reward but Katrina Gorry found space to slot home from close range after a clever cut back from Thorlakson right on the stroke of half time.

The Jets, who had only managed to score one goal before the clash, were again limp in attack up until half time but it was a different Jets side who returned to the park after the break.

Both sides changed things around with the Jets bringing on Bronte Bates for Loren Mahoney and the Victory replacing Maika Ruyter-Hooley with Sarah Groeneweld.
Newcastle worked their way back into the contest early in the second half with forward Kate Hensman manufacturing two good chances to force saves out of Victory co-captain Melissa Barbieri.

The Jets noticeably lifted the tempo and caught a lackluster Victory defence off guard on 61 minutes with the Jets new signing Renee Cartwright nipping in to arrow a left foot shot in the top corner to level the scores at 1-1.

Having been on the back foot for much of the day it was the Jets that started to find space out wide and threaten the Victory goal.

But with the heat starting to take its toll on the players a share of the spoils looked imminent before sub Niceski finished well for Melbourne’s second injury time goal of the game.

It was a credit to the Jets who showed much more fight in the second half to turn things around, with Head Coach Wayne O-Sullivan continuing to heap praise on his squad despite the loss.

‘It was really a heart wrenching loss with the clock our biggest enemy. To have those two goals scored in the dying seconds of each half was hard for the girls,- O-Sullivan said.

‘Despite the result, the side has come away from the match with a lot intact, as all in all it was a really good performance from the side. They showed amazing courage as a team under very difficult circumstances and definitely should have come away from today with something more for their efforts.-