It’s been a night to remember for the Jets Westfield W-League squad, as they finish 2018/19 with a 4-1 demolition of the Western Sydney Wanderers.
The setting for the Club’s final game of the season was perfect – home at No.2 Sportsground, a perfect sea-breeze, and a 1,200-strong crowd.
Without a host of senior players – Larissa Crummer added to that list after the week previous’ horror injury – the Jets welcomed one experienced head in Gema Simon back into the fold.
The first Newcastle chance of the evening fell to Jenna Kingsley who had a fantastic opportunity with just six minutes on the clock. A superb long ball let her free, but her shot inside the area was over the bar.
Tara Andrews, playing at the point of the attack, unleashed Kingsley again on a run that had an expectant crowd in full voice but the wide woman’s shot couldn’t beat the keeper.
The Wanderers best chance of the opening half came with just over 25 minutes gone, when a free kick on the edge of the area gave Elizabeth Addo the chance to curl one in.
Curl one she did, but thankfully a strong Britt Eckerstrom hand parried it away for a corner which was proved, thankfully for Newcastle, fruitless.
Arin Wright had a fantastic chance at the back post to send Newcastle to the sheds ahead but spooned it over – luckily for the American, a teenager would come to her rescue minutes later.
A pin-point perfect ball from Clare Wheeler in the midfield fed Tessa Tamplin, who Craig Deans had not long moved from right-back to the left wing, and the youngster was off.
She found herself one-on-one with Simonsen in the Wanderers goal and showed the maturity beyond her years to steady herself, beat the keeper, and score her first ever Westfield W-League goal.
With ten minutes gone in the second-half, the Jets doubled their advantage thanks to Tara Andrews. The industrious attacker let one fly from a long way out, and the inch-perfect strike nestled into the corner of the goal beating a diving Simonsen.
The Jets wanted a couple more and were threatening, but again Britt Eckerstrom proved enormous for Newcastle with a number of good saves – chief among those a brilliant stop to deny Labonta from long range.
In the 66th minute though, the Wanderers clawed one back through what was a sublime passage of play. Some quick passing through the Newcastle defence set up Elizabeth Addo, whose shot was just out of the reach of Eckerstrom and pulled the visitors back into the match.
The one-goal advantage was soon restored to two after a fantastic goal from substitute, Teigan Collister, who saw an opening and hit a superb chip over Simonsen to make it 3-1.
Just minutes later Cortnee Vine would add her name to the scoresheet, after Wright squared it up in the area following a deflected strike from Copus-Brown – the Young Matilda buried her strike and put the game out of the visitors reach.
The win saw Craig Deans’ side finish on 16 points, a wonderful effort in a season riddled with injury.