Wilson: Pride in team’s character, but better execution needed

It was a back-and-forth game at Blacktown Sports Park where the Jets travelled to face Western Sydney, and after leading for the majority of the contest, a late goal to the hosts, and plenty of chances thrown away from our team cost us a win in the end.

The match was neck-and-neck through entirety of the game, with both sides taking control in various patches throughout.

Tiana Jaber scored an incredible goal midway through the first half, but ultimately it was cancelled out by an Ashlie Crofts strike on the stroke of full-time.

Following the game’s completion, Head Coach Ash Wilson said the team knew it was going to be a tussle and was disappointed that her team couldn’t most the most of their second half opportunities to put the game to bed.

“It’s always a battle when you come down here,” Wilson said.

“You know you have to work hard for the full 90 minutes…They put you under a lot of pressure and they make you work for everything.

“I thought we created enough chances before that 75th minute mark and we just weren’t capitalising on them.

“It turned into a bit of a frenzy and it’s not a great way to finish the game.”

While the team will feel like they the result is ‘dropped points’ rather than a point gained, a shining light that come from the affair was Jaber’s first A-Leagues goal.

After a juking move to beat a defender, the young defender smashed a shot from well beyond the penalty area straight over the head of the opposition goalkeeper.

Her goal though proved the only time we’d find the back of the net, and Wilson felt the team’s focus slipped at vital times.

“I’m very happy for T [Jaber],” Wilson said. “She got herself into a good position, backed herself, and it was a good strike.”

“In patches we had a lot of control and could have secured the three points.

“Wanderers have some experienced players…it was never going to be a game of pretty football.

“This week was a bit more of an arm-wrestle. I don’t think we dealt with moments when we were under the pump as well as we could have.”

The side were missing starting XI names Kirsty Fenton and Marie Dolvik after recent COVID issues forced them into self-isolation.

Although this week hasn’t provided an ideal preparation, the team weren’t shaken by it, and Coach Wilson made a point of how pleased she was in the way the team handled it all.

“It has been a challenging week, but we’re not using that as an excuse,” she said.

“I think it even motivated them a little bit more.

“You have to show a bit of character in times like this, and the girls have a lot of character. It’s disappointing we didn’t get the three points, but I couldn’t fault their character.”

Next Monday on December 27, the team will travel to the Central Coast to meet Wellington Phoenix for the second time in three weeks.

It’s a fixture the team know they need to win again.

“We want to stay as connected as much as we can to the top four. That mean’s collecting points week in and week out.”