Wanderers and Jets play out exciting stalemate

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The Western Sydney Wanderers and Newcastle Jets fought hard for a share of the spoils in an end-to-end 1-1 draw at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night.

A second-half strike from Matthew Millar cancelled out Mitchell Duke’s early opener as the two struggling sides under fresh leadership were unable to be separated on the night.

In their first home outing since parting ways with Markus Babbel, the Red and Black bounced back with some quality play early doors.

Inside four minutes Bruce Kamau burst into a pocket of space on the right wing and was dragged down by Bobby Burns inside the area.

Shaun Evans pointed to the spot and Wanderers skipper Duke made no mistake in slamming home the spot kick.

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The home side continued to dominate proceedings as a Duke volley struck the base of the post after 12 minutes and Simon Cox spurned a couple of opportunities to strike on his home debut.

Slowly but surely, Newcastle began to claw their way back into the contest and nearly restored parity through a pair headed efforts from Abdiel Arroyo and Dimi Petratos.

Their best opportunity of the half arrived with one minute left to play, as Millar bore down on goal only to be denied at the front post by a smart low stop from Daniel Lopar.

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The visitors maintained their momentum into the second stanza.

The pace and trickery of Arroyo allowed him to cut the ball into the path of Petratos, who forced Lopar to tip the ball over the bar.

55 minutes in they came even closer as a Millar cut-back was met by Burns, who struck the crossbar with a curling effort that initially appeared destined for the back of the net.

The Wanderers looked to retain possession and consolidate their lead but Newcastle’s pressure eventually paid off with 15 minutes to play.

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Millar played a smart one-two with Arroyo before forcing the ball home at the front post to draw the visitors level.

Both sides forged some half-chances in pursuit of a winner but ultimately were forced to settle for a point each.

The result saw Carl Robinson avoid defeat in his first match in the Jets hot seat while Jean-Paul de Marigny’s side continued to slide out of finals contention.

Western Sydney Wanderers: 1 (Duke 5′)
Newcastle Jets: 1 (Millar 74′)

Bankwest Stadium
Attendance: 9,864

Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referees: Owen Goldrick, Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Western Sydney Wanderers: Daniel LOPAR (GK), Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, Dylan MCGOWAN, Matthew JURMAN, Patrick ZIEGLER, Bruce KAMAU (Tate RUSSELL 73′), Pirmin SCHWEGLER, Keanu BACCUS, Nicolai MULLER (Mohamed ADAM 90′), Mitch DUKE (C), Simon COX (Kwame YEBOAH 60′)

Unused subs: Nicholas SUMAN (GK), Kostandinos GROZOS, Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, Nicholas SULLIVAN

Newcastle Jets: Lewis ITALIANO (GK), Robert BURNS (Jason HOFFMAN 63′), Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, Nigel BOOGAARD (C), John KOUTROMBIS, Matthew MILLAR, Angus THURGATE (Nicholas FITZGERALD 70′), Benjamin KANTAROVSKI, Steven UGARKOVIC, Dimitri PETRATOS, Abdiel ARROYO, Roy O’DONOVAN (Kosta PETRATOS 86′)

Unused subs: Glen MOSS (GK), Jack SIMMONS, Patrick LANGLOIS, Connor O’TOOLE

Featured image credit: Steve Christo

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.