Wanderers settle for draw against Jets

Western Sydney Wanderers were forced to come from behind and settle for a 1-1 Isuzu UTE A-League draw at Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

After going behind when Angus Thurgate put the Jets up against the run of play in the 37th minute, the Wanderers were finally able to convert their control of the ball into a goal when Oliver Bozanic equalised via a 64th-minute penalty.

Compounding the Wanderers’ rueful afternoon, skipper Marcelo limped off in the first half with a suspected hip injury. 

Marko Rudan’s Western Sydney handily controlled the opening 45 minutes in Newcastle, outshooting their foes nine to two and controlling 69 per cent of possession without being able to break through for a telling blow.

They weren’t helped by constant slipping and sliding on the surface at the end of the pitch they were attacking, the result of new turf being laid after an Elton John concert at the venue earlier this month. 

Brandon Borello had their best chance in the 29th minute when he skipped past James McGarry and into space, only for his subsequent effort to hit the side netting. 

Beka Mikeltadze produced the Jets’ first shot in anger four minutes later and they promptly took the lead minutes out from half time when Thurgate ran into space left open by the Wanderers’ defence and was picked out with a pinpoint cross from Dane Ingham. 

The Wanderers, though, were rewarded for their endeavour 20 minutes into the second half when Thurgate lunged in on Yeni N’Gbakoto to concede Bozanic’s converted penalty.

Fatigue setting in and the game becoming stretched, both sides created chances at a high volume in the final stages but neither could find a breakthrough, with Lawrence Thomas denying Jason Hoffman a Jets’ winner in the dying minutes.