Jets start with a win

The Newcastle Jets have registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Canberra United to open their Westfield W-League season at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

The Newcastle Jets have registered a hard-fought 2-1 win over Canberra United to open their Westfield W-League season at Wanderers Oval, Newcastle on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets recovered after going behind to an early goal to Canberra forward Sasha McDonnell to level the match midway through the first half via international Katie Gill.

Newcastle had the better of chances in the rest of the first half but couldn't convert and the sides went to the break locked at 1-1.

Canberra dominated for most of the second stanza, opening play up with plenty of width to create some genuine goal-scoring chances.

But it was Gill who slotted home against the run of play with nine minutes remaining to secure the win for Newcastle.

"It was shaky, but we were always confident of getting home,' said Jets coach Gary Phillips after the match.

"Our experience and that Newcastle grit and determination was what got us through."

The match got underway in perfect summery conditions in-front of a packed Newcastle crowd of 1,100 but it was the visitors who got off to the ideal start with McDonnell poking home for Canberra after a goal-mouth scramble in just the second minute of play.

Newcastle worked its way back into the match with a strong passing game through the middle. Gill and Emily van Egmond sent strong long-range shots over the goal before van Egmond headed home from a Joanne Peters cross only to be call back for offside.

The Jets eventually profited from their pressure in the 23rd minute with Westfield Matildas skipper Cheryl Salisbury threading a great through ball for Gill, who shrugged off her tackler before steering a low shot past Canberra goalkeeper Lydia Williams and into the far corner of the net.

Canberra should have regained the lead just moments later when striker Kara Mowbray found herself with on open goal but she skewed her shot high and wide of the target.

Gill had another chance to score just before half-time after being put into space down the left flank and turning the defence inside out but Williams pulled off a nice save to keep the scores level at half-time.

Canberra started the second half with more attacking venom, pushing the play wide and sending in some dangerous crosses that resulted in Caitlin Munoz and McDonnell just missing with clear headers.

The visitors were dealt a blow just after the hour mark however, when Munoz was forced from the field with what looked like a bad knee injury.

Lucy Allan came on to replace the Matildas' player sparking a number of changes.

Ashleigh Sykes replaced Grace Gill on the United wing and Rebecca Kiting came on for Thea Slayter while Newcastle brought on Rhali Dobson for Stacey Day, Leia Smith for Samantha Wood and Nicole Jones took over from Amber Neilson as Jets coach Gary Phillips searched for some attacking spark.

Canberra still had the running with McDonnell showing plenty of pace to create another chance. She squared the ball back into Amy Chapman but her shot ballooned over the bar.

Newcastle took the lead against the run of play in the 81st minute following determined work just outside the box by substitute Nicole Jones. After working past three defenders she managed to get a pass to Gill who slotted home a left-footed shot to make it 2-1.

United searched in vain for a late equaliser and were given more grief when stand-out striker McDonnell was carried from the field with an ankle injury.

"We had plenty of chances to take the game today," Canberra coach Robert Hooker said after the match.

"But that is part of football. As the second half wore on and we failed to put away our chances there was always a chance of the other team creating one or two opportunities and scoring and that is what they did."

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 2 (Katie Gill 24-/82-) Canberra United 1 (Sasha McDonnell 2-)

Sunday 26 October 2008 Crowd 1,110 at Wanderers Park, Newcastle. Referee: Jacqui Melksham

Newcastle Jets line-up: 1.Alison LOGUE (gk), 2.Hannah BREWER, 3.Samantha WOOD (8.Leia SMITH 65-), 4.Elizabeth SHARPE, 5.Cheryl SALISBURY (c), 6.Amber NEILSON (14.Nicole JONES 73-), 7.Gema SIMON, 10.Joanne PETERS, 11.Stacey DAY (9.Rhali DOBSON 54-), 12. Katie GILL, 15.Emily VAN EGMOND

Substitutes not used: Nil

Yellow cards: Emily Van Egmond 87- Red Cards: Nil

Canberra United line-up: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (gk), 3.Amy CHAPMAN, 4.Bronwyn STUDMAN, 5.Sasha McDONNELL, 6.Caitlin MUNOZ (18.Lucy ALLAN 63-), 7.Ellie BRUSH, 9.Grace GILL (14.Ashleigh SYKES 56-), 11.Cian MACIEJEWSKI, 12.Kara MOWBRAY, 13.Thea SLATYER (8.Rebecca KITING 82-), 17.Christine WALTERS

Substitutes not used: 20.Maja BLASCH (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil