Lowly Jets in home ground face-saver

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport -

NEWCASTLE sub­sti­tute Nick Cow­burn’s first A- League goal has sal­vaged a 1-1 draw for the Jets at home against lad­der­lead­ing Syd­ney FC.

Syd­ney led for more than an hour at McDon­ald Jones Sta­dium af­ter skip­per Alex Brosque’s 20th-minute header from a Rhyan Grant cross ap­peared to go un­der­neath goal­keeper Glen Moss.

Cow­burn’s 87th-minute equaliser also came from a near-post header via a pin­point free-kick from Dimi Pe­tratos.

The draw puts Syd­ney a point clear of Perth, who host Ade­laide on Sun­day.

The point lifts Newcastle off the bot­tom on goal dif­fer­ence over Cen­tral Coast, who play Mel­bourne Vic­tory to­day.

The Jets and Sky Blues both had a chance to score a win­ner in stop­page time.

Syd­ney sub­sti­tute Charles Lokolin­goy broke clear, but Moss was able to push his shot away and Cow­burn was off tar­get from 35 me­tres with goal­keeper Andrew Red­mayne well off his line.

Cow­burn’s equaliser was just Newcastle’s third goal of the sea­son.

Ron­ald Vargas and Pe­tratos had early sights of goal but couldn’t score and Ja­son Hoff­man blasted a shot wide in the 75th minute as Newcastle pushed Syd­ney back in the lat­ter stages of the game.

Brosque’s goal apart, Syd­ney fash­ioned the best op­por­tu­ni­ties and looked in con­trol for most of the first 75 min­utes.

Striker Adam Le Fon­dre, who failed to score for the first time in seven league and FFA Cup ap­pear­ances, shot wide af­ter be­ing put clear in the eighth minute.

Af­ter half­time, Moss did well to push away a fierce shot from im­pres­sive Syd­ney play­maker Mi­los Ninkovic and Brosque headed wide.

Ear­lier, Bris­bane Roar fought back from a dis­as­trous start to se­cure a 2-2 draw against Western Syd­ney Wan­der­ers in Mudgee.

Two goals in the first 17 min­utes to Spa­niard Oriel Riera put the Wan­der­ers in pole po­si­tion on a fine sur­face in the NSW coun­try town.

Goals to Alex Lopez and Adam Tag­gart in 11 min­utes ei­ther side of half­time earned a third point in four games for the still win­less Roar.

Both sides had chances to get max­i­mum points.

Wan­der­ers’ sub­sti­tute Jaushua Sotirio came clos­est, hit­ting the post with a curl­ing left-foot ef­fort in the 80th minute, fol­low­ing sus­tained pres- sure and a se­ries of cor­ners from the Syd­ney side.

Roar’s Ja­cob Pep­per had a header saved by Ve­dran Jan­je­tovic and at the other end Alex Baumjo­hann fizzed a shot just wide.

Riera and Bruce Ka­mau tor­mented the Roar early as the Wan­der­ers dom­i­nated. Riera pounced from 10 me­tres af­ter Ka­mau’s shot hit the bar.

Five min­utes later, Ka­mau was fouled in the penalty area by Pep­per.

Riera had his penalty tipped onto a post by Roar goal­keeper Jamie Young but he was first to the loose ball, net­ting with his sec­ond touch.

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