A stunning goal from Sarah Clark helped Canberra United to a third successive draw as they came away from a visit to No.2 Sportsground in Newcastle having shared six goals with the Jets in an entertaining 3-3 stalemate.

With Emma Ilijoski unavailable due to injury, United Head Coach Njegosh Popovich was forced to make a change to the team that had earned an impressive 1-1 draw away to Sydney FC in midweek, recalling Holly Murray into the starting team. On the bench, Alex McKenzie was named in place of Tegan Bertolissio.

A prosaic opening to the match saw both teams attempting to gain a foothold on the contest, especially in the all-important midfield area, but neither was able to do so before the game exploded into life.

The deadlock was broken in some style on the quarter of an hour, although with some simplicity. A throw-in was beautifully flicked on by Libby Copus-Brown into the area where, from the angle, Sarina Boldon lashed a superb first-time shot that cannoned into the net off the underside of the crossbar.

It didn’t take Canberra long to draw level though. Just seven minutes later Michelle Heyman burst down the right channel and rolled a delightful centre across the face of the six-yard box. Nickoletta Flannery, meeting the ball at the far post, gleefully accepted the gift, sliding home from close range.

Suddenly, Canberra were in the driving seat, and they turned the match around with a second goal, a first in the Liberty A-League for Deven Jackson. The New Zealand international was freed behind the Jets defence 35-metres from goal, and showed her acceleration, bursting clear to coolly slot past the advancing Isobel Nino.

Jackson was enjoying a good opening forty-five minutes and might have created a goal before half-time, the move ultimately coming to nothing, but it was the goal from the number eleven that separated the protagonists at the interval.

The Jets got off to a flier in the second-half and thought they had levelled forty-seven seconds in as Boldon met a cross from substitute Lara Gooch with a firm header from close range, only for the assistant’s flag to curtail the celebrations.

However, the home fans were off their seats shortly afterwards as Gooch, who had made an immediate impact, weaved past two Canberra players to lash a low shot from outside the box that nestled into the bottom corner of the net. This one counted.

Jackson went close for Canberra in the 66th minute, foiled by Nino as she attempted to round the Jets custodian, but it was the hosts who went back in front when terrific work from striker Boldon culminated in low fizzed cross that was turned in from almost on the line by Melindaj Barbieri.

United struck back though with a contender for goal of the season. American defender Clark lined one up from thirty metres and unleashed an Exocet of a shot that flashed past the helpless Nino and thudded into the top corner, shaking the goal in its moorings for a quite sensational equaliser.


Newcastle Jets (1) 3 (Boldon 16’, Gooch 51’, Barbieri 72’) Canberra United (2) 3 (Flannery 23’, Jackson 31’, Clark 84’)

TEAM: 1. Chloe LINCOLN, 3. Sarah CLARK, 4. Holly MURRAY (2. Alex MCKENZIE 58’), 8. Sasha GROVE, 10. Mary STANIC-FLOODY (7. Maria ROJAS 72’), 11. Deven JACKSON, 13. Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON, 17. Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, 19. Nickoletta FLANNERY (16. Madelyn WHITTALL 80’), 22. Cannon CLOUGH, 23. Michelle HEYMAN (9. Ruby NATHAN 80’)


YELLOW CARDS: 19. Nickoletta FLANNERY, 17. Vesna MILIVOJEVIC (Canberra United), 23. Zoe KARIPIDIS (Newcastle Jets)