Jason Hoffman’s first goal of the season was not enough as a late equaliser by Diego Castro denied the Jets their first win of the season on Saturday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Looking to bounce back from last week’s loss to Sydney, the Jets started brightly, and Abiel Arroyo went close to opening the scoring in the eighth minute when his instinctive finish was somehow saved by Liam Reddy in the Perth goal.
Newcastle goalkeeper Glen Moss was then called into action and made an excellent save with his feet to deny Ikonomidis from close range in the 17th minute, but it was the Jets who broke the deadlock when Hoffman put the home side in the lead just after the half-hour mark.
Steve Ugarkovic received the ball 25 yards from goal and produced the perfect through ball to find the run of Hoffman, who blasted the ball past Reddy and into the roof of the net to notch his first goal of the season and put the Jets in front after 31 minutes.
The Jets looked to double their advantage before halftime with Fitzgerald and Matt Millar both going close, but the score remained 1-0 as the teams headed into the sheds.
Looking to claim their first win of the season, the Jets once again started the second half brightly and looked certain to double their advantage in the 53rd minute, but Fitzgerald was first denied at point-blank range by Reddy before Alex Grant produced some heroic goal-line defending to deny a second effort.
In front of a parochial crowd of 8,308, the Jets fought tooth and nail to secure the three points but, with just four minutes remaining, Perth managed to level the scores.
Following a frantic scramble in the Newcastle box, Diego Castro bundled the ball home to salvage a point for the visitors and deny the Jets their first win of the season.
The visitors were then reduced to 10-men when Alex Grant received his second yellow card in the 87th minute but, despite Newcastle’s best efforts, we were unable to find the winner in the dying moments as Perth clung on for a point.
The Jets next travel to Melbourne in round six as they face off against newcomers Western United on Saturday at GMHBA Stadium.