Lowry on target as Glory share spoils with Jets

Glory remain within one point of the Liberty A-League top four following a 1-1 draw with Newcastle Jets at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday.

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Hana Lowry scored for the second time against the Jets to give the visitors the lead early in the second half, before American forward Elizabeth Eddy equalised for the hosts 12 minutes from time.

In what was a compelling contest throughout, Natasha Rigby and Deborah-Anne de la Harpe were both denied by the woodwork, as was home substitute Jemma House.

Having tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, alongside three players and two other members of staff, Head Coach Alex Epakis was unable to attend the game, with Assistant Stef Busso taking up the matchday reins.

And taking into account the extremely challenging build-up to the game, Epakis was especially pleased with the performance.

“Given the context of last week, the three games in one week, the last result [4-0 defeat v Sydney FC] and the disrupted preparations, it’s so difficult to fault the players today,” he said.

“I thought they were excellent in their attitude, excellent in their focus and they really had a point to prove that last week doesn’t represent us as a team.

“Today’s performance was certainly more what we’re building towards and more of what we want to stand for as a team.

“We’re disappointed that we didn’t capitalise upon the chances and the scoreline, but it’s important to separate those out from the performance to balance out where we’re at.

“The performance ticked a lot of boxes, but obviously we can still fine tune a couple of areas which would have helped us get the three points.

“Then, from a results point of view, it leaves a bit of a sour taste when you walk away feeling that you were the dominant team but you didn’t get the three points.”

Despite the side showing six changes to that which started against Sydney FC last time out, Glory looked fluent right from the off and were unfortunate not to take an early lead when Jets ‘keeper Claire Coelho failed to claim a de la Harpe cross and the loose ball struck the back of Lisa De Vanna before flying narrowly over the bar.

At the other end, meanwhile, Morgan Aquino looked far more assured as she made sharp saves to foil Ashlee Harding and Sophie Brodigan respectively, but it was certainly Glory who threatened most consistently before the break.

It took Epakis’ side just ten minutes of the second half to make the breakthrough their pressure deserved, Mie Leth-Jans picking out Lowry with a fine, chipped pass into the box and the 18-year-old midfielder spinning off her marker before guiding an inch-perfect strike into the bottom corner.

With their tails up, Glory immediately set about looking for a second goal and came close to finding it twice in the space of a minute as Coelho produced a fine save to deny De Vanna and Rigby went agonisingly close to claiming her long-awaited maiden Glory goal when she headed a Lowry corner against the crossbar.

de la Harpe’s stinging free-kick was then pushed onto the bar by Coelho, but the Jets somehow managed to weather the storm, regroup and snatch an equaliser.

Laura Allan’s clever ball at the edge of the box carved out the opportunity for Eddy who calmly fired past Aquino and as the chances continued to flow, House headed a Sophie Harding cross against the woodwork moments later.

Both sides gamely went in search of the winner in the final moments, but with fatigue creeping in, neither was ultimately able to claim all three points.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 1 (Eddy 78′) Perth Glory 1 (Lowry 54′)

Half-time: 0-0

Referee: Caitlin Williams

No.2 Sportground

Newcastle Jets: 20.Claire COELHO (GK), 5.Tiana JABER, 6.Cassidy DAVIS, 8.Elizabeth EDDY, 9.Tara ANDREWS ( 3.Jemma HOUSE 69′), 12.Kirsty FENTON, 14.Lucy JOHNSON ( 13.Lauren ALLEN 55′), 15.Sophie HARDING, 18.Taren KING, 19.Ashlee BRODIGAN ( 16.Sunny FRANCO 85′), 32.Bethany GORDON

Substitutes not used: 36.Georgia BORIC (GK), 25.Lara GOOCH

Yellow Cards: Jaber

Red Cards: None

Perth Glory: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Kim CARROLL, 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anee DE LA HARPE, 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY ( 13.Sarah CAIN 83′), 11.Lisa DE VANNA ( 21.Aideen KEANE 83′), 12.Sofia SAKALIS ( 41.Leena KHAMIS 75′), 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 26.Mie LETH JANS (24.Gemma CRAINE 66′)

Substitutes not used: 20.Courtney NEWBON (GK)

Yellow Cards: Sakalis, Lawrence

Red Cards: None