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Late drama as Jets, Wanderers draw

NEWvWSWNewcastle Jets shocked Western Sydney Wanderers with a late equaliser in front of 15,924 fans at Hunter Stadium, with Adam Taggart scoring both goals for Newcastle in an enthralling 2-2 draw.

Clayton Zane was hoping for a better performance in his second match in charge at Newcastle, after the Jets’ 3-0 loss to Central Coast last week – the team’s fifth game without a win. He originally made just one change to the starting lineup, with Andrew Hoole replacing Jacob Pepper. However, Emile Heskey was a late withdrawal with a back spasm and was replaced by Nick Ward. Joel Griffiths also returned to his former club, starting on the bench.

Tony Popovic made no changes to his starting lineup for the first time this season, relenting on the rotation policy he has been enforcing throughout the campaign.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy at their respective ends as the chances flew in thick and fast in the opening stages of the game.

The tempo of the game was fading before Adam Taggart brought it back into life in the 26th minute with a scintillating strike from long range. Andrew Hoole made an initial run before the ball was spilled to the Jets’ youngster, who unleashed a powerful effort from roughly 30 metres.

Western Sydney struck back on the stroke of half time as Aaron Mooy made it two goals in as many games with another brilliant free-kick. The equaliser was hit over the wall from just outside the box leaving Mark Birighitti with no chance to save it.

The Wanderers put the pressure on Jets in the second half, and it finally paid dividends after 66 minutes as Michael Beauchamp scored in bizarre fashion. A poorly attempted clearance should have resulted in an easy take for Birighitti, but instead the ball fell for a goalmouth scramble and a second clearance from Josh Brillante deflected off Beauchamp and into the back of the net.

With a winning scoreline, the Wanderers looked content to soak up the pressure and welcome the Jets’ attack as full time approached.

Those tactics backfired with minutes remaining in regulation time, as Adam Taggart found a late equaliser. A poorly cleared corner found its way to Hoole at the edge of the box who drilled the ball toward goal, with Taggart tapping in from inside the six yard box.

Drama ensued after the final whistle as Adam Taggart appeared to be fouled by Ante Covic as he was unleashed on a counter attack in the final seconds. However, Ben Williams blew the whistle for full time as the play was developing. An irate Joel Griffiths gave the referee a verbal lashing, and was rewarded with a red card that will see him miss next week’s game against the Phoenix.

About the author

avatarBorn and raised in Melbourne, Bill is a student journalist at Monash University and life-time fan of the round ball game.

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  • JunkYard

    Ben Williams should be sacked as a referee. It’s been a long time since I watched such an abominable performance by a referee as Ben’s. Watching the match between Sydney and Melbourne Heart on Friday night, I was thinking Peter Green is the worst referee in the country but I was wrong, very wrong; compared to Ben Williams’s performance on 1 February 2014; Peter’s performance was brilliant. Ben Williams gave so many free kicks to Wanderers, most in good kicking positions that one of the attempts just had to land in Jets goal (I would question most free kicks he gave to Wanderers anyway). In addition; I have a question for Ben as well. There was a clear red card offence committed by Wanderers goal keeper just before full time. The referee stopped the game and in the process gave a red card to Joel. I am not sure whether I am right, but from my understating the game should’ve continued with Jets getting a free kick. Wanderers keeper should’ve got a red card and Jets should’ve get a free kick out of the incidence.

    Is that right or wrong?

    Is Ben on the take???