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  • The Wanderers took on Newcastle Jets looking to head back to the top of the A-League ladder, but could only climb to 2nd following a 1-1 where Roy O'Donovan's late penalty rubbed out a first half goal from bernie Ibini.

    The match started with a back and forth between the two sides, young gun Valentino Yuel smashed a shot into the crossbar then in the 11th minute Graham Dorrans flashed a long range effort just wide. 15 minutes in the Wanderers should have won a penalty. After some scrambling in the box, Troisi got onto a bouncing ball, tapped it past his marker and then was taken out by a blatant trip from a Newcastle player. The referee completely ignored it, and then the VAR decided it somehow wasn't a foul. It was more of a penalty than the Ninkovic dive into Troisi in the recent Derby, but unsurprisingly, with the Sydney team in Red & Black this time it wasn't given.

    Half an hour into the game and the Wanderers had to make their first sub with Nicolai Muller coming off with an apparent leg injury and it lead to the Wanderers opening the scoring. He was replaced by Simon Cox who was forced onto the bench for the first time this season. He made an instant impact, weaving through the tackles of three Jets players before shooting. It rolled along the turf, bounced off the post, Ibini followed in the shot like a good striker does, he beat Johnny Koutroumbis and finished neatly in the bottom corner with the keeper still on the ground.

    In the last seconds of the half the Jets should have equalised, with a corner taken going well over Daniel Margush who completed misjudged the flight of the ball, it fell to Nigel Boogaard and he fluffed a tap-in, sending the sides into the sheds at 1-0 to the home side.

    Yuel had an early shot in the 2nd half, turning Tass Mourdoukoutas and launching the ball well over the bar as it kept rising. The resulting goalkick was played poorly by the home side and they gave up a corner and were subsequently pressured by the Jets for 5 minutes. The Wanderers regained their composure and control of the ball, in the 69th minute Simon Cox had a glorious chance to slide through a team-mate for a tap-in, but he butchered the 3 on 1 opportunity when he delayed too long, went too wide and only managed to get his attempted cut back blocked by former Wanderers Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

    Yuel once again started a Newcastle attack, streaming down the right hand flank and beating Keanu Baccus, delivering the ball to Roy O'Donovan with an angled pass, the striker thought he had a clean sight on goal only for Ziggy Gordon to fly in from his left with a sliding block. With the Jets looking strong as the last 10 came up, Carl Robinson used the new substation laws to his benefit, bringing on a triple sub of Patrick Ziegler, Bruce Kamau and Jordan O'Doherty.

    Ziegler's first act was to give away a penalty. The absolute lightest of contact on a Jets player who was back to goal was sent to the spot by referee Ben Abraham and upheld by VAR. It put into sharp contrast the non-call in the first half on Troisi who was clearly tripped by the Newcastle player. O'Donovan stepped up and blasted the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

    In the 97th minute the Jets had one final chance, Koutroumbis found an inswinging corner with a boot flick but it flashed wide of the far post. The 1-1 result would be hard to swallow for the Wanderers, as they had enough chances to put the game away and copped a dodgy equaliser from a player going down like a sack of potatoes from a feather touch and getting rewarded where Troisi got nothing. Ziegler & Yeboah were poor off the bench and Ziegler's foul cost his side all three points. Carl Robinson in his post-match interview called for consistency from the officials, with the officials telling him one thing for our non-penalty, then going the exact opposite way for the call that cost us the points. But his side failed to take their chances on multiple occasions to put the game to bed.

    The point for the Wanderers moves them into outright second place behind the Mariners and in front of Adelaide & Macarthur, who they face in a Western Sydney Derby on Saturday the 6th of February in Campbelltown.



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