Jets end 2023 in comeback win over Reds

Newcastle Jets came from behind to notch a 3-1 win over Adelaide United at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday afternoon.

The Reds led after 10 minutes through Dylan Holmes but Newcastle acted swiftly to carve out a 2-1 advantage by the 20-minute mark, with Libby Copus-Brown and Natasha Prior finding the back of the net.

Philippines international Sarina Bolden put the Jets out of sight shortly after half-time, scoring her fourth goal in five games to wrap up all three points in a 3-1 victory.

Jets defender Gema Simon came off the bench in the 85th minute to reach the special individual milestone of 150 Liberty A-League appearances; only five players have reached the appearance figure in the league’s history: Kim Carroll, Michelle Heyman, Teresa Polias, Clare Polkinghorne and Caitlin Cooper.

Bolden had an early chance to put the Jets ahead, and if not for a superb touch from goalkeeper Annalee Grove the Philippines international would have found the back of the net inside three minutes. 

Newcastle threatened from the resulting corner with Emma Dundas striking from the edge of the box, but Grove got down low to parry once again.

Then came two quick-fire goals as Adelaide took a one-goal lead, only for the Jets to equalise just five minutes later. Holmes found the opener for the visitors, latching onto an expertly-placed through ball from Emily Hodgson and rounding outrushing goalkeeper Isobel Nino to tuck the ball into a vacant net.

Lorena Baumann matched Hodgson’s superb assist work shortly after with a lofted through ball placed perfectly into the path of Copus-Brown to touch and finish and bring the hosts back level.

It took Newcastle five minutes to equalise, and another five to take the lead as Natasha Prior got forward to latch onto a Copus-Brown corner and rifle her close-range finish into the roof of the net.

The Jets took just four second-half minutes to pull two goals clear, with Bolden finishing past Grove after a through ball from Lauren Allan played from within her defensive half.

The Adelaide defenders looked towards the touchline for an offside flag on Bolden but the flag stayed down as Bolden steamed toward goal and slotted home Newcastle’s third of the afternoon.

Emily Condon came off the bench for Adelaide and came close to a deficit-halving goal, but Nino produced an outstanding save to preserve her side’s two-goal lead in the 80th minute.

Isabel Hodgson had a chance of her own in the aftermath, with her strike flashing just wide of the left-hand goalpost.

Late opportunities presented down both ends of the pitch but neither side could capitalise as the Jets ran out 3-1 winners.