The Round 17 fixture wasn’t too dissimilar to the Vengaboys concert happening concurrently down the road from the game, as Newcastle went Boom Boom Boom Boom (and another boom) in WSW’s room to play out a 5-1 drubbing at ANZ Stadium.
With the curtain raising Y-League Grand Final seeing the Wanderers go down to the Roar (WSW losing a grand final…noooo way) and the rain steadily pouring down to soak everything in sight (raining on a WSW game day…noooo way), the atmosphere was a little soggy Sao. The curtain raiser of 5 home losses in a row for the senior team also meant the atmosphere amongst our resident WSW reporter, Chrissi in the TLL group chat was tense (and illegal), so I’ve taken the reigns for this one.
The fixture also saw the finalisation of the January transfer window. Newcastle said goodbye to Austin, with no one else coming in the door, whilst WSW gained Yeboah and Duke in place of the leaving Tongyik.
Prior to the game, both sides also came in feeling a little hard done by from previous results. The Jets have been awarded the least amount of penalties this season (being zero), whilst WSW have found themselves conceding 13 goals total within the final 10 minutes of games to see more fade outs than a WSW barber’s chair. And with the petition circulating earlier in the week to have WSW’s games cut down to 80 minutes not getting up, would we see more of the same? Especially as Janjetović once again appeared in the starting line-up.
The opening 45 started off with some end-to-end play as both sides gave each other more space than a Victoria’s Secret model’s thigh gap. Riera, back from injury, had an early chance in the 12th to open proceedings, but his shot to the bottom right corner was saved by a diving Moss.
Minutes later we saw what would be the start of the Jet’s flood gates opening. Petratos was able to convert in the 18th with a stunning strike as he cut across Llorente to find the far post following a pinpoint cross from Hoffman, as the play could be pulled back as far as Ugarkovic dispossessing Hamill further up the pitch.
Just minutes later in the 22nd, the same boys were being as annoying to the WSW defence as a girl who has just spent 6 weeks studying abroad in Europe (it was life changing, thanks for asking). Hoffman was able to double the Jet’s lead to clean up a Georgievski blocked shot as Ugarkovic initially crossed into the box to find Dimi’s golden back heel.
The Jets continued to have further chances in the 24th as Vargas’ effort was blocked and Hoffman’s 26th minute last-man chance going straight to the keeper continued to highlight that WSW were having huge issues clearing from the back.
Kamau did force a specky clearance with the feet by Moss in the 28th and Llorente’s 41st minute chance was again denied by Moss blocking more shots than when you used to place your hand over the end of the remote to block your sibling from changing the channel back in the day.
And just as you thought WSW were heading into the shed with a 2-goal deficit, Tokich clipped the ankles of Vargas whilst still getting plenty of the ball to see the Jets awarded their first (soft) penalty of the season in the 45th+1, with VAR not daring to take this moment away from them. O’Donovan stepped up to take the Passion Pop of penalties; It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t quality, and it missed on the initial attempt. But it got the job done as Roy was able to make do on the rebound to slot one in for the Jet’s 3rd before the break.
WSW appeared to come out slightly more fired up in the opening two minutes of the second half, before being deflated once again as the Jets hurriedly found their 4th. Janjetović attempted to parry an initial cross into the box, however he read the ball like it was the Apple Terms and Conditions. The ball dropped straight to Ridenton who was able to find the back of the net, nutmegging Hamill on its way through.
The Jets asserted their dominance further in the 59th to top off a night that Tokich would rather forget, as he conceded another penalty through fouling Hoffman in the box. Roy again stepped up to the spot, converting first time with a powerful shot to the bottom right for the Jets to notch up 5 under the hour mark.
The consolation came for WSW in the 69th as Duke, who entered play for his WSW debut just 19 seconds earlier, found the back of the net off a ripper of a header following a Tokich corner. Duke, the instant WSW favourite, tried again for a 2nd with a powerful shot in the 90th, but Moss was there.
The dominating score line saw what would arguably have been the Jet’s season best performance and a great away win. Unfortunately for WSW, the loss also saw more damage done on the park, as Risdon has likely seen a recurrence of the groin injury that plagued him in the AFC. The positives for WSW came in the form of Duke, who looks set to make a great impact, scoring even during what would technically be his J-League off-season. Whilst WSW are just having an off season.
By Hayley Leedham