The midweek top of the table clash between Nepean FC and Newcastle Jets at Penrith certainly lived up to its expectations! It had excitement, goals, intensity, controversy, and most importantly, two teams who stood toe to toe for 80 minutes trying to win 3 points.
The first half began with Nepean playing a 3-5-2 formation which was designed to stop the Jets from imposing their passing game, a tactic which succeeded. As a result of not enjoying the usual domination of play there was an unusual lack of composure in the play of the Newcastle team.
Within the first five minutes the Newcastle defence was caught square at the back and a simple through ball enabled one of the Nepean forwards to make the score 1-0 for the Sydney team! The rest of the half continued to be an arm wrestle between two teams that cancelled each other out. The Jets couldn’t break through the flanks nor through the middle of the Nepean defence.
Just before the half time whistle, a clearance from the Newcastle goalkeeper resulted in a Nepean defender receiving the ball deep in their half, another defence splitting ball, and Nepean leading 2-0 at the break!
In the second half the momentum of the Nepean team dropped as they began to show more concern at protecting their 2-0 lead than adding to this, while the intensity of the Newcastle Jets increased. Soon the Jets began to string their passes together and began to dominate play for the first time in the game.
A free kick from outside the box was floated in, it ended up at the feet of a Jets winger who crossed it into the head of a Newcastle forward who had no difficulty in bringing the score back to 2-1! This gave the Newcastle team even more momentum and their passing game resulted in more domination while the Nepean team were reduced to back peddling.
Another head on attack from the Jets resulted in the ball being played out wide, a Newcastle winger then fired a shot which took a slight deflection and the game was brought back to 2-2! The Jets continued to attack and create goal scoring opportunities. During a sustained Jets attack a shot from outside the box hit the Nepean cross bar, the ball appeared to bounce behind the line but after a deliberation between the linesman and referee, a “no goal” was decided!
Nepean then replied with a goal of their own which was judged as offside! The teams continued their arm wrestle until the final whistle.
Nepean FC: Damuel Haythornethwaite 1, Toby Witjes 2, Jamie Mccarlie 3, Levi Green 4, Luke Williams 5, Gabriel Gil 6, Jayden Roots 7, Agok Agok 8, Dermot Molloy 13, Gabriel Carboni 14, Luke Kwon 16, Subs: Zachery Baulman 9, Zachary Phillips 10, Kalan Owens 11, Jarrod Alsford 12, Louis Brokenshire 15, Luke Worsley 17, Daniel Haber 19
Newcastle Jets: Angus Martin 35, Giles Harrison 36, Caleb Reed 38, Pharrell Trainor 39, Reinhard Lloyd 40, Zac Major 42, George Tsamouras 43, Cooper Vimpani 45, Luca West 46, Jordan Gu 48, Ethan Lewis 50, Subs: Kynan Watkins 37, Kruze Davidson 44, Seth Anderson 90
Cards: 7’ Toby Witjes (yellow), 22’ Dermot Molloy (yellow) – 4’ Pharrell Trainor (yellow), 11’ Luca West (yellow)
source: Tom Tsamouras