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ALW: Jets upset Western to keep play-off hopes alive

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The Newcastle Jets claimed its biggest scalp of the A-League Women’s (ALW) season in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

And, in the process, the Hunter-based club kept its play-off hopes alive thanks to a brilliant 3-1 victory over ladder leaders Western United at the Regional Football Facility, Tarneit, on 17 March.

Even more impressive was the fact Newcastle prevailed without the services of rep duo Claudia Cicco and Lara Gooch.

But, to a woman, every Jets player deserved credit for the performance.

The one concern for coach Ryan Campbell was probably the team’s discipline, with Libby Copus-Brown, MelindaJ Barbieri, Lorena Baumann and Emma Dundas all receiving yellow cards for fouls.

In the end, it didn’t affect the result as Newcastle returned home with three crucial competition points.

The Jets showed their hand early.

In the fourth minute, striker Sarina Bolden laid on a great cross to Copus-Brown, whose right-footed shot sailed into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Western replied midway through the period when Aimee Medwin, one of United’s best on the ground, capitalised on some good lead-up work from Stacey Papadopoulos to level things 1-all.

However, the hosts’ joy was short-lived.

Within 90 seconds, Newcastle regained the advantage.

A defensive deflection landed at the feet of Lauren Allan, who cracked the ball past keeper Alyssa Dall’Oste for a 2-1 scoreline, which remained until the break.

United lifted its intensity when play resumed but the Jets’ defenders and goalie Izzy Nino denied them time and time again.

It was then left to Newcastle’s golden girl Bolden to seal the deal.

Barbieri’s well-placed corner in the 66th minute found the head of the striker, who secured her 12th goal of 2023/24.

The Jets were further buoyed by the return of Melina Ayres who substituted for Bolden in the final stages of the showdown.

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