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ALW: Jets fail to make rivals pay in 3-all thriller

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Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond must have been shaking his head in disbelief after his side could only manage a 3-all draw with Canberra United on Saturday evening.

In front of a vocal home crowd at No. 2 Sportsground, the hosts were by far the better team on the day but squandered countless opportunities to put their A-League Women’s (ALW) rivals to bed.

Newcastle looked exceptionally sharp in the opening exchanges, however the visitors led 2-1 at the interval.

Brilliant play from Lara Gooch and Sarina Bolden then enabled the Jets to surge ahead 3-2.

Sarina Bolden added another goal to her season tally at the weekend. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

However, Sarah Clark ensured the combatants shared the competition points with a late strike for Canberra.

The Jets were sharp from the kick-off but couldn’t convert the possession into goals.

That finally changed in the 16th minute, when a smart Libby Copus-Brown flick pass found the foot of Bolden, who put the home side in front 1-0.

But, Newcastle dropped its intensity and Canberra capitalised.

Against the run of play, the legendary Michelle Heyman set up Nickoletta Flannery to level the match at 1-all.

Eight minutes later, Deven Jackson extended United’s advantage to 2-1.

Despite that, hometown duo Lauren Allan and Sophie Hoban had chances to tie it up before the break.

Van Egmond brought Gooch into the showdown, for the second 45, with immediate effect.

First, her deft pass gave Bolden free reign to head into the back on the net.

However, the star striker was ruled offside by officials.

Soon after, Gooch did it all herself to make it 2-all in the 50th minute.

The Jets struck again following some more Bolden magic.

After stepping up a couple of defenders, she sent a terrific ball across to MelindaJ Barbieri, who tapped in for 3-2.

Newcastle’s joy was short-lived.

In the 84th minute, Ruby Nathan did enough for Clark to evade the clutches of goalie Izzy Nino, squaring things up at 3-all.

The Jets then threw everything at Canberra, with Melina Ayres and Gooch going close again.

But, they couldn’t crack keeper Chloe Lincoln, who produced some brilliant saves.

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