Newcastle Jets consolidated their place inside the top six but were left to rue another missed opportunity as they finished locked at 2-2 with the Perth Glory on Sunday.
In what was an entertaining clash for neutrals, there were four goals, a red card and plenty of chances, as both sides searched for a winner in front of 9,174 spectators at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Newcastle were slow out of the blocks and Perth took full toll as former Jet Adam Taggart struck in just the 7th minute. Andy Keogh angled a pass into from the left side towards Taggart on the edge of the box, and Jets’ defender Lachlan Jackson seemed to have the situation under control. But Jackson missed his kick, allowing Taggart to calmly roll his shot into the bottom left corner.
Perth continued to create chances, with Chris Harold’s header hitting the crossbar in the 15th minute, before the Jets fought back into the contest.
Nigel Boogaard went close in the 22nd minute after Ma Leilei whipped in a free kick, and Andrew Nabbout caused plenty of headaches for the Glory defence down Jets left edge.
In the 37th minute Newcastle were awarded a penalty, as Morten Nordstrand was bumped by Glory defender Shane Lowry. Mateo Poljak stepped up and drove the second penalty of his Hyundai A-League career into the bottom right corner.
The Jets continued to cause havoc before the break and Nabbout found some space down the left again. This time he weaved past defenders before rolling a left-foot shot across Perth keeper Liam Reddy to send the home side roaring into the half-time interval with a 2-1 lead.
However, much like the opening moments of the first half the Jets were sluggish on resumption as Diego Castro created two chances – one from distance which struck the woodwork, and the other from point blank range – as the Jets struggled to contain the silky Spaniard.
The signs were there for the Glory and in the 56th minute Andy Keogh locked the match up once more when he tapped home a pinpoint Harold cross from the right edge.
Both sides had chances to take all three points in the final half-hour, but neither could find the back of the net. The match took a turn in the 87th minute when Rostyn Griffiths was shown a second yellow card for taking down Devante Clut as he was about to break.
But, the Jets couldn’t take advantage in the dying stages and the match finished in a stalemate.
The full-time score of 2-2 a fair result in the end as the Jets stay 6th, two points clear of the 7th placed Wellington Phoenix while one point behind Perth who are in 5th.
Mark Jones’ men head to Campbelltown next Sunday to take on Western Sydney Wanderers.
Newcastle Jets 2 (Poljak 38’ (pen), Nabbout 45+2’)
Perth Glory 2 (Taggart 7’, Keogh 56’)
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Newcastle Jets: 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK (28. John KOUTROUMBIS 74’), 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 18. MA Leilei (9. Aleksandr KOKKO 81’), 19. Morten NORDSTRAND (23. Devante CLUT 86’), 20. Jack DUNCAN (Gk), 22. Lachlan JACKSON
Substitutes not used: 2. Daniel MULLEN, 50. Tomislav ARČABA (Gk)
Yellow cards: Nabbout, Hoole, Ma, Koutroumbis
Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory: 2. Alexander GRANT (10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC 80’), 4. Shane LOWRY, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9. Andrew KEOGH, 14. Chris HAROLD (7. Joel CHIANESE 75’), 16. Joseph MILLS, 17. Diego CASTRO, 19. Joshua RISDON, 22. Adam TAGGART, 24. Milan SMILJANIC (15. Brandon WILSON 75’), 33. Liam REDDY (Gk)
Substitutes not used: 3. Marc WARREN, 13. Nicholas FEELY (Gk)
Yellow cards: Griffiths x2, Lowry, Grant
Red cards: Griffiths