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ALW: Jets rue missed opportunities in 1-all draw

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A MelindaJ Barbieri masterclass wasn’t enough to secure a win for the Newcastle Jets at the Maitland Regional Sportsground on Sunday.

But, it enabled the home side to leave the Lower Hunter on 3 March with a valuable 1-all draw with the Perth Glory.

With both sides being level on the competition table, on 24 points, a triumph could have propelled the victor into the top four ahead of the upcoming play-offs.

However, the fight to secure a berth will continue over the next few rounds at least.

Another good crowd was in attendance for the A-League Women’s clash at the Maitland Regional Sportsground. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

It would have been tough for Newcastle coach Ryan Campbell to witness the fixture as the Jets, missing Claudia Cicco and Lara Gooch on rep duties, wasted opportunity after opportunity.

In fact, they had more than 40 shots at goal, compared to Perth’s half a dozen.

The other contributing factor was the Glory’s deep compressed defence, which continually frustrated the hosts.

Thankfully, the talented Barbieri stepped up when it mattered most.

After a number of attempts, she was on hand to equalise in the 77th minute, much to the delight of the vocal Maitland crowd.

Newcastle Jets striker MelindaJ Barbieri caused the Perth Glory numerous headaches at the Maitland Regional Sportsground on Sunday. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

Things didn’t start well for Newcastle.

Within the opening 90 seconds, Perth led 1-0, via an own goal by Zoe Karipidis.

But, the Jets ramped it up.

Barbieri, Natasha Prior, Sarina Bolden and Lauren Allan all went close.

Or, they were denied by Glory keeper Morgan Aquino, who was sensational on the day.

On two occasions, a Barbieri deflection was saved by the goalie or it sailed over the crossbar.

Bolden then headed over the top before the break, with Newcastle still trailing 1-0.

Libby Copus-Brown looks for support at the Maitland Regional Sportsground on Sunday. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

It was a similar story in the second half.

Aquino again blocked Barbieri’s right-footed shot from outside the box.

In the 59th minute, Emma Dundas narrowly missed the mark, too.

Soon after, a Bolden header appeared on target, only to see Aquino intervene for the umpteenth time.

Libby Copus-Brown and Milan Hammond were also left without any reward.

That all changed in the 77th minute when Barbieri finally slipped the ball past the outstretched hand of Aquino.

Alex Huynh and Milan Hammond were all smiles before the Maitland match. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

With the score locked at 1-all, Newcastle maintained its attacking onslaught.

Lorena Baumann’s crack at target went agonisingly astray as well.

Then, in stoppage time, Josie Allan latched onto a beauty, however Aquino was up to the challenge once more.

In the end, the Jets had to be content with a share of the spoils.

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