The Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix shared the points in a tense and hotly contested 1-1 draw at McDonald Jones Stadium on Thursday night. Tidy finishes from Ronny Vargas and David Williams weren’t enough to confirm the win for either side in an important fixture in the race for the top six.

The first half was a feisty and evenly contested affair. Both teams had a handful of chances, and referee Stephen Lucas brandished four yellow cards within the first 22 minutes of the game.

Wellington had their first major chance when Armando Sosa Pena struck the post and Louis Fenton was unable to hit the target on the follow up.

Ronny Vargas took the lead for the home side when he rifled his shot into the roof of the net with his left foot from inside the box. Daniel Georgievski played the ball along the deck to Vargas who fooled a handful of Wellington defenders to create the angle and apply the finish.

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The Nix would’ve been disappointed to be heading into the sheds 1-0 down considering the amount of chances they created but failed to convert. Despite this, the Jets were playing free-flowing attacking football and deserved their lead at the break.

The second half continued on with the same even momentum of the first half.

Wellington snatched an equaliser on 58 minutes when Louis Fenton found David Williams free in the box who applied a classy first time finish into the bottom left corner with his right foot.

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The Jets came agonisingly close to scoring on a number of occasions, and Oliver Sail made a plethora of incredible saves for Wellington.

Ben Kantarovski made a critical mistake in the 87th minute when he fouled Louis Fenton in the box for a penalty. Glen Moss made a big time save and denied Roy Krishna from the spot with an outstretched leg.

The final few minutes were a frantic and tense finale with both teams going for the win. In the end the points were shared, and Wellington remain eight points ahead of the Jets in seventh place just outside a qualification spot.

Newcastle Jets 1 (Vargas 33’)

Wellington Phoenix 1 (Williams 58’)

McDonald Jones Stadium

Referee: Stephen Lucas

Assistant Referees: Ryan Gallagher & James Cleal

Fourth Official: Stephen Laurie

Newcastle Jets: Glen Moss (gk), Jason Hoffman, Nigel Boogaard (c), Steven Ugarkovic, Dimitri Petratos, Roy O’Donovan, Ronald Vargas (Kaine Sheppard 75’), Daniel Georgievski (Ivan Vujica 82’), John Koutroumbis, Matthew Ridenton (Ben Kantarovski 45′), Nikolai Topor-Stanley

Unused subs: Lewis Italiano (gk), Jair

Wellington Phoenix: Oliver Sail (gk), Armando Sosa Pena (Cillian Sheridan 82’), David Williams, Liberato Cacace, Alex Rufer, Michal Kopczynski, Louis Fenton, Sarpreet Singh (Max Burgess 75’), Roy Krishna, Andrew Durante, Steven Taylor

Unused Subs: Filip Kurto (gk), Ryan Lowry, Anthony Golec

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Intern at The Football Sack covering The Newcastle Jets A-League and W-League home matches!