Newcastle Jets have ended 2019 with a 1-1 draw following a late Brisbane Roar equaliser on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium.
With both sides looking to break their recent runs of poor form, the game got off to a cagey start but the Jets slowly worked their way into the match and Steve Ugarkovic almost made it two in as many games when he forced an excellent reflex save from Jamie Young in the Brisbane goal in the 20th minute.
Dimi Petratos always enjoys playing against his former side, and he once again came back to haunt his former employers when he found himself in the right place at the right time to open the scoring in the 32nd minute.
After Matt Millar was afforded time on the right wing, he whipped in a delightful cross which found Jason Hoffman unmarked at the back post. Although Young was able to save Hoffman’s shot, he could do nothing as the ball fell to Petratos who rifled the ball into the back of the net from close range to put the Jets in front.
The home side went into the sheds holding the one goal advantage, and the second half followed a similar pattern as the Jets probed for an opening, with Matt Millar heading a difficult chance over just moments into the second half.
The home side defended resolutely as they clung on to their lead, and had an excellent opportunity to double the lead when Angus Thurgate pounced on a defensive mistake in the 80th minute.
Bearing down on the Brisbane goal, Thurgate’s shot was well saved by Young, and the Roar stopper then recovered to produce another save to keep out Ugarkovic.
The visitors had offered very little attacking threat in the second half, but levelled the scores in the 87th minute when Brad Inman produced an exquisite turn and finish from the edge of the box, giving Moss no chance as his shot flew past him into the back of the net via the underside of the bar.
The Jets immediately responded and Ben Kantarovski looked certain to score in the 90th minute, but for another outstanding reaction save from Young as the Roar custodian kept the Jets from snatching all three points.
The Jets will head to Melbourne for their first match of 2020 as they take on the Victory at AAMI Park in Round 13 on Sunday 5 January.