It was a hot Summer night and the beach was burning so I made my way to McDonald Jones Stadium for the Round 9 rescheduled Newcastle Jets v Adelaide United match to cheer on my girls.
I made the trip from Sydney to Newcastle on a 41 degree day and decided to make a day of it. Why I thought this was a perfect day to discover more of the North’s beautiful beaches is beyond me. Feet are sore from the sand, got a great tan though.
This game was rescheduled at the same time as the Adelaide men’s home game and directly after the Newcastle Jets and Western United A-League game. Yes you heard that right, on a 41 degree day there was a 5pm A-League game. We won’t get into that right now though, Summer games with a 4pm or 5pm kick off can go to hell. Again, let’s not get into that.
Newcastle Jets are entering this game off a 4-2 loss at home to Perth Glory, now to be known in the history books as the Tessa Tamplin game. Whereas Adelaide are arguably entering with more omph as they celebrated their first win of the season against 2nd placed Western Sydney Wanderers.
Both teams sitting ‘lower’ on the table (we don’t talk about AU’s position) and this was set to be a competitive game with a similar skillset. They are each great teams but are lacking the Matildas/international players which is more a reflection of the clubs’ off-season performance than the teams on-pitch performance.
The game (obviously) started very slow. The sun was just starting to set at kick off and was turning into a beautiful moth infested summers evening. Dead set, in the dying minutes of the game I saw a very small snake looking thing come out of a hole and into another right behind me. For all international readers I am not joking, welcome to Australia.
The injuries were filtered out early with Clare Wheeler going down in the 6th and surprisingly soldiering on until the 33rd and Mallory Weber limping off in the 19th minute. Cue my panic as Mallory Weber has been excellent for the Reds this season.
The crowd was riled up when Sarah Willacy went in for a save on the end of the box, so close there were shouts left right and centre from the Jets that the ball was outside the box. Never fear, Rose is here. As I was sitting right behind Willacy’s goals in the first half, I can happily admit that I was heavily fan girling. Anyway, while I was taking stalker-esque fan girl photos, i just happened to capture said out of the box call and I can confirm from the official box-line technology that she was in fact inside the box. Unfortunately I cannot confirm the exact opposite call in the exact same spot from Coelho in the 73rd as the ref signalled her save was outside the box and Adelaide were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box. For the 80% of Jets fans who were yelling ‘what about the first half ref!’ please see image below.
The second half quickly turned into a disaster for Adelaide fans or if we’re talking about inside the stadium, Adelaide fan. It only took until the 52nd minute for the Jets to score via a penalty. Capitano Amber Brooks was caught with a hand in the box and the ref points to the spot. Tara Andrews steps up and let’s be honest we all know where this is going when Andrews steps up, yes in the back of the net for her 3rd penalty of the season and her 8th goal against Adelaide in the W-League. 1-0 to the Jets.
Now that the playing conditions were much nicer, both teams upped the attacking power. By the end of the game Adelaide ended up with 17 shots and I am certain 90% were in the second half. A good percentage in the last 10 minutes if I’m honest. The attacks from Adelaide were coming from all over the park but mostly from Chelsie Dawber who had more shots than me on my birthday.
This doesn’t mean Newcastle just capitalised on a couple of lucky shots though, the Jets were also hungry for a win deep into the second half as Tara Andrews was desperate to increase her tally with Libby Copus-Brown doing a lot of the ground work.
Adelaide desperate to get that equaliser but failed miserably as Newcastle got their nail in the coffin 2nd goal in the 78th from Renee Pountney. A beautiful ball in for Tara Andrews who completely shonked her shot (she must be hating this highlight reel) but good positioning found Pountney right beside Tara, completely unmarked. Renee slots it home getting her first W-League goal and it’s 2-0 to the Jets
The remaining 10 minutes had so much energy and attack from the visitors but Newcastle were just too good. Both teams now get a much needed rest and probably hour long ice bath after this evening’s match as we head into another week of a W-League bye for the Olympic Qualifiers. The Jets get an even longer rest as Round 12 sees them have another bye whereas Adelaide United travel to Canberra to face the hit and miss other United.
P.S shoutout to the Newcastle Jets Women’s Active Support for getting the Baby Shark song stuck in my head for at least 16 hours now. On a serious note they were fantastic!
By Rose Valente