W-League: Simon strike snares a point for the Jets

 They fought back from a two-goal deficit, and in doing so the Jets’ Westfield W-League side secured a crucial point against Sydney FC this afternoon.

It was a thrilling contest, which saw two of the league’s in-form teams go head-to-head on a sunny afternoon in the Harbour City.

The Jets had a weight of possession in the opening quarter of the match, as a high press paid dividends – creating a number of chances as they fired the ball into the area at regular intervals.

The press in the Sky Blues attacking third saw the Jets benefit from ample turnover ball and while they had 12 shots on goal in the opening half, they couldn’t make the most of their opportunities.

Sydney opened the scoring for the match somewhat against the run of play, as Kylie Ledbrook finished a counter-attack from outside the area with a low strike that slipped past a diving Britt Eckerstrom and into the bottom corner.

The goal created a shift in momentum after a dominant period from the Jets, with the Sky Blues adding a second goal just seven minutes later thanks to a headed effort from Princess Ibini.

Despite the deficit, the Jets continued to attack and quickly found themselves on the scoresheet, as Arin Gilliland was fouled in the area, leaving Lara Lee no choice but to point to the spot.

The penalty kick was a mere formality, as van Egmond stepped up and calmly finished into the bottom right corner with the precision she’s renowned for.

Both sides continued to exchange blows for the remainder of the opening half but the score remained 2 – 1 at the break.

The second half started without much fanfare, with possession being exchanged frequently and neither side dominating the play.

Gema Simon entered the match with about half an hour remaining, as Craig Deans looked to increase the Matilda’s minutes on her return from injury.

Simon’s inclusion in the fixture also saw the Matilda notch her 100th Westfield W-League appearance.

She didn’t take long to inject herself into the match, with a stunning long-range effort – forcing Bledsoe into a strong save – as the keeper had to quickly gather herself and stop a van Egmond follow up.

At the other end of the pitch, Brit Eckerstrom was keeping the Jets in the hunt, making her presence felt between the sticks with a number of outstanding saves.

As time ticked over, a positive result was seemingly out of reach until a long ball into the area from Brewer saw the Jets square the ledger.

The ball fell to the feet of Cortnee Vine who tipped a pass onto a charging Gema Simon, with nothing left to do but bury a strike from point blank range – drawing the visitors level.

A frenetic final four minutes ensued as both teams looked to grab a wining goal, but despite a couple of half-chances the match ended in a draw.

The moments:

5' | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Brewer takes a shot from well outside the area, Bledsoe collects her strike on the second attempt #WLeague #SYDvNEW

20' | 0 – 1 | Kylie Ledbrook gets Sydney FC off the mark  #WLeague #SYDvNEW

25' | 0 – 1 | Neat through ball from van Egmond to a charging Katie Stengel looks dangerous, as her strike sails over the crossbar #WLeague #SYDvNEW

27' | 0 – 2 | Ibini doubles Sydney’s advantage #WLeague #SYDvNEW

34' | 0 – 2 | PENALTY! Arin Gilliland fouled in the area! #WLeague #SYDvNEW

35' | 1 – 2 | GOAL! Van Egmond makes no mistake from the spot. #WLeague #SYDvNEW

37' | 1 – 2 | CHANCE! Huster collects a rebound outside the area, her first-time strike is fumbled by Bledsoe as she is forced into a second save by Katie Stengel #WLeague #SYDvNEW

71' | 1 – 2 | CHANCE! Van Egmond threads the needle into the area as Kingsley makes a well-timed run, but her powerful shot goes wide #WLeague #SYDvNEW

74' | 1 – 2 | What an effort from Eckerstrom, wonderful save! #WLeague #SYDvNEW

80' | 1 – 2 | Wow, what a strike from Gema Simon! Bledsoe makes a strong save to stop the initial strike and follows it up to cut of van Egmond’s second effort #WLeague #SYDvNEW

89' | 2 – 2 | GOAL! Gema Simon! #WLeague #SYDvNEW

89' | 2 – 2 | A long ball into the area from Brewer falls to the feet of a charging Cortnee Vine, as she tips it onto Simon who buries her strike into the back of the net from point blank range #WLeague #SYDvNEW

Ground: Allianz Stadium

Newcastle Jets: 2.Hannah BREWER, 3.Natasha PRIOR, 5.Arin GILLILAND, 6.Cassidy DAVIS, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Emily VAN EGMOND, 16.Nikola ORGILL, 17.Jenna KINGSLEY, 18.Clare WHEELER, 20.Claire COEHLO (gk), 21.Pana PETRATOS, 23.Tori HUSTER, 28.Britt ECKERSTROM (gk)

Subs: 7.Gema SIMON, 8.Sophie NENADOVIC, 11.Cortnee VINE, 20.Claire COEHLO (gk)

Subs Not Used: 8.Sophie NENADOVIC, 20.Claire COEHLO (gk)

Yellow cards: 6.Cassidy DAVIS (56’), 23.Tori HUSTER (90’+4’)

Red cards: N/A

Goals: 10.Emily VAN EGMOND (29’ pen), 7.Gema SIMON (89’)

Sydney FC: 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 8.Amy HARRISON, 9.Caitlin FOORD, 10.Kylie LEDBROOK, 11.Lisa DE VANNA, 13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 15.Caitlin COOPER, 16.Emily SONNETT, 20.Princess IBINI, 29.Aubrey BLEDSOE (gk)

Subs: 1.Sham KHAMIS (gk), 3.Remy SIEMSEN, 12.Teigen ALLEN, 19.Leena KHAMIS

Subs Not Used: 1.Sham KHAMIS (gk)

Yellow cards: N/A

Red cards: N/A

Goals: 10.Kylie LEDBROOK (20’), 20.Princess IBINI (27’)