Lowly Jets in home ground face-saver
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.