With Sydney FC up by a goal and the clock winding down, Newcastle needed a hero.
Out of nowhere, up stepped Nick Cowburn.
His glancing header at the front post from a Dimi Petratos dead ball in the 87th minute was his first ever Hyundai A-League goal – and an absolutely crucial one for Newcastle.
There was an early chance for the Jets with Jair making an electric run down the left-hand side in just the fourth minute, but he wasn’t able to get the ball out from under his feet before running into traffic.
The home side kept the pressure up with Steven Ugarkovic threading the needle to find Jair shortly after, but his cross to the back post was slightly over-hit and Dimi Petratos couldn’t keep his header down.
Adam Le Fondre had a golden chance for the Sky Blues up the other end, but wasn’t able to find the target after squirming his way through the Jets defence.
In the 20th minute, Sydney took the lead. Alex Brosque got a touch on a Rhyan Grant cross, and the ball squirmed it’s way under Glen Moss and into the back of the net.
The Jets started the second half well, and Jason Hoffman almost created a chance just minutes after kick-off. At the other end, Alex Brosque fired a header just wide after a Rhyan Grant cross into the box.
Glen Moss pulled off a superb diving save down to his left in the 65th minute, after some Milos Ninkovic trickery and a wicked shot almost found it’s way into the back of the net.
With the clock winding down, Ernie Merrick made his trio of substitutions inside 15 minutes. The game changed, and the Jets took the ascendency.
It all came to fruition in the 87th minute, when a Dimi Petratos free-kick from a corner-like position was sent into the box. Nick Cowburn, off the bench for little more than 15 minutes, sent a glancing header toward goal.
The ball burrowed its way between two Sydney players and into the back of the net and sent the 11,414 Newcastle crowd into raptures.
With parity restored, the Jets pushed hard for a winner. Glen Moss pulled off a superb save up the other end, while Newcastle had four corners but couldn’t find what would have been a famous winner.