Ben Homer looks ahead to Sunday's Westfield W-League clash between Newcastle Jets Women and Perth Glory Women at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Overall Head to Head
Newcastle Jets FC 2
Perth Glory FC 8
Round 2: Perth Glory FC 0 Newcastle Jets FC 0 at Ashfield Arena (Western Australia)
Where they sit on the ladder
Newcastle Jets FC 4th (3pts)
Perth Glory FC 2nd (4pts)
Newcastle Jets Women will return home with plenty of confidence for the first home game of the season this weekend after a dominant performance against the Melbourne Victory which saw them pile four goals on the once so dominant side who have now won just two of their last 16 Westfield W-League matches.
Ironically the Victory’s last win before their 16 game rut was against the Newcastle Jets in 2014 – they won 4-0 that afternoon – but how the tables have turned. The Jets have been boosted this season by some outstanding recruiting – none more impressive than midfielder Arin Gilliland who scored her first professional goal against the Victory on Sunday. The American import, who usually plays as a defender for her US side the Chicago Red Stars, has made herself at home in Newcastle.
Megan Oyster’s return to solidify Newcastle’s defence for another season has also been crucial, as the Jets kept their seventh clean sheet in 14 matches under Craig Deans. The four goals will also provide a huge boost to the Jets’ morale, having only scored nine last season, they have almost halved the goals they scored last season in just two matches.
But, sometimes it is easy to get carried away with a brilliant performance like the one the Jets put in last weekend and their opponents this week should not be taken lightly. Perth Glory – the minor premiers and Grand Final runners-up in 2014/15, fell back to earth last season, winning just three matches, finishing eighth.
Their talismanic striker Sam Kerr only managed four matches in the 2015/16 season and it seemed to have a significant impact on the Glory. This season Kerr has played both matches scoring twice in their opening round 4-2 win over the Wanderers and wreaking havoc for Brisbane’s defence last weekend in their 0-0 stalemate. Kerr was gifted three one-on-one chances by the Roar last weekend in the opening half and if Jets Women afford her that amount of time and space she will surely make them pay.
Kerr is not the only attacking threat the Glory pose, though. US import Vanessa Di Bernardo will cause plenty of headaches also for Newcastle --- she netted six goals in eight appearances last season. Another US import in Alyssa Mautz was impressive as well for the Glory last weekend, and she will be looking for her first Westfield W-League goal after coming close against the Roar.
Historically these two sides have met 13 times, and it has been the Glory who have been dominant winning eight times to Newcastle’s two. In fact, the last time Newcastle beat Perth in the Westfield W-League was back in December 2011, and their only other victory was in their first ever meeting in 2008.
In the last nine matches Sam Kerr has scored in for Perth, they have lost just once. Whether the Jets keep the Matildas striker quiet or not will undoubtedly go a long way to determining the result on Sunday.
When: Sunday 20 November 2016
Where: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Gates Open: 2:20pm
Westfield W-League Kick-Off vs. Perth Glory Women: 2:30pm
Tickets: Please click here to purchase match tickets
Broadcast: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio: Live on 1233 ABC Newcastle x ABC Grandstand x EON Sports Radio