Jets snatch draw with Wanderers at death

Ashlee Brodigan’s first Liberty A-League goal has salvaged a 2-2 home draw for Newcastle in a feisty and eventful game against Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Jets twice came from behind in Newcastle to break a run of three straight losses, but remain winless in their past six having not tasted victory since December 27.

Brodigan, who earned her side a penalty earlier in the half, smashed the ball home two minutes into stoppage time after collecting a good pass from substitute Marie Dolvik.

Still there was time for the Wanderers to almost snatch a winner but Jets shot-stopper Claire Coelho produced a good save to deny Libby Copus-Brown.

A well-taken goal from 15-year-old Alexia Apostolakis looked likely to give the Wanderers a win to snap a six game losing streak, the past two being 5-0 defeats.

Apostolakis, who conceded the penalty from which Newcastle equalised, skilfully stroked in a half volley, after the Jets failed to clear a corner in the 76th minute.

“It was such an amazing feeling, I was really emotional especially after conceding the penalty,” Apostolakis told Paramount+.

“I just felt really good to get one back and really relieved and happy I kept going to the end.

“We were really fighting to the end for this one, so it was a bit disappointing that we let that one in.”

The Wanderers started the game better but Newcastle created more clear-cut chances.

A 40th-minute goal from Ashlie Crofts opened the scoring in Newcastle.

Crofts, whose two previous league goals had also come against the Jets, controlled a cross from Erica Halloway, turned away from defender Taren King and lashed a shot inside the near post.

It was just the Wanderers fourth goal in 12 games and their first in more than four hours of football.

Newcastle, who had gone goalless in five hours, equalised from an Elizabeth Eddy penalty just before the hour, after Brodigan was fouled by Apostolakis.

Brodigan had gone close twice in the three minutes before the goal.

“We put ourselves under pressure through the two moments that we conceded,” Jets coach Ash Wilson said.

“I can’t fault the girls fight and their energy and the way they just kept coming back at the end and fought to get an equaliser but the reality is we had done enough we created enough clear chances to win the game.

“We need to be more clinical and more composed.”

With both teams clearly hungry to end their respective losing streaks, the intensity was reflected in 11 yellow cards, five to Newcastle and six to the Wanderers.

“I was probably a little surprised at all the yellows but I’m not the one out there in the middle making the decisions and the calls,” Wilson said.

Newcastle are sixth but 12 points off a top-four spot while the Wanderers are ninth, three points adrift of the Jets.