Saturday night saw Sam Kerr and her Glory side host the Newcastle Jets and I was expecting the Glory to put on a masterclass at home, but as we all know our wonderful game can be full of surprises.
It didn’t take long for the home side to assert their dominance early when Kerr made a solid run forward to earn a corner, which was pounced on by 16-year-old Leticia McKenna after the Jets failed to clear the ball.
It didn’t end there for Perth, when Shannon May celebrating her 100th W-League game managed to get off a shot on the edge of the box but it didn’t trouble Eckerstrom in the 10th. It definitely seemed like a warning sign to the Newcastle ladies that it could end up being a long trip out west.
In a blink of an eye though the Jets were level in the 17th minute when Taylor Smith made a great run inside finding Katie Stengel who capitalised with a wonderful finish.
But it didn’t end there when a minute later, Smith hit the ball outside the box and Stengel cheekily stuck a boot out and found the back of the net for the visitors.
2-1 in Newcastle’s favour!
Were we about to see an upset, with the second-placed Glory a goal behind to the sixth-placed Jets?
It was shaping to be a beautiful, tightly contested match when in the 26th Larissa Crummer was sent off and a penalty awarded to Glory, after Sam Kerr was bundled over in the box. In typical Super Sam fashion, Kerr did not miss from the penalty spot sending an absolute stunner into the back of the net. and the home side were now level playing against a 10 women Jets side.
The remainder of the first half saw the Jets be very resilient and work hard to go into the sheds level at half time. We were in for an interesting second half that’s for sure.
The 53rd saw a great chance for the Jets when Arin Wright played a beautiful ball through to Jenna Kingsley who got a little tangled in the box, which saw Eliza Campbell come out and make the save.
Sam Kerr couldn’t capitalise on her stunning runs in the 60th when she was one-on-one with Eckerstrom going to ground, made sure it was cleared. Kerr followed the ball taking a shot in the top corner of the area but it was just wide and hit the side netting.
It wasn’t smooth sailing for Glory when the Jets through Stengel showed they weren’t going to park the bus and hope for the best, but her shot was wide from outside the box in the 63rd.
The 72nd saw substitute Copus-Brown almost put the Jets ahead after a great ball from Gema Simon but she couldn’t get a solid shot away. Sam Kerr was at it again in the 74th minute after a solid first touch and volley but it was knocked away by Eckerstrom for a corner.
The 78th saw a wonderful chance for May but Eckerstrom again made a cracking diving save to deny the milestone woman.
There was a stoppage in play in the 84th when Taylor Smith landed awkwardly on her right knee and she was stretchered off! (Thoughts are with her, and we hope she recovers soon!)
The fourth official signalled 7 minutes of stoppage time, understandably so after Smith’s injury and I couldn’t wait to see if either side could pounce and steal the 3 points.
Everyone in a Jets’ kit had a mini-heart attack when Shannon May hit an absolute blinder which somehow hit the post (How did it stay out?!) to ricochet back into play in the first minute of stoppage time.
The fourth minute of stoppage time saw Eckerstrom again come to the rescue for the Jets, pushing away Stanton’s free kick to keep her side in it.
It was much of the same in the last few minutes but neither side could find that elusive third goal. I’d wager the Glory women were more disappointed to draw at home against a 10 women Jets side; whereas Craig Deans’ Jets could go home with a point and be quite happy.