Boiling conditions at McDonald Jones Stadium couldn’t suppress a cracking W-League contest between Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers.
Drink breaks and long balls were the order of the day in the Hunter as Newcastle Jets kicked off their W-League campaign with a 2-1 victory over Western Sydney.
Newcastle took an early lead through Katie Stengel, and after dominating the opening proceedings were unlucky to go into halftime only one up.
But Wanderers’ Erica Hollaway led the charge in the second half and soon found an equaliser with a tap in thanks to fine work from Marlous Pieete.
Showing their quality, Newcastle hit straight back through a header from Jenna Kingsley, and they held on in hot conditions to kick off their W-League season with a win.
Newcastle captain and woman-of-the-match Emily Van Egmond was happy with the performance.
“We definitely dominated the first half and were unlucky not to get another goal,” she said.
“Second half they pressed us and we found it hard to deal with, as well as the wind and the long balls, but I’m proud of the girls and hopefully we can build as a team with that momentum.
“I’m just as excited as everyone else to see women’s football progress in Australia.
“We’re young, exciting, have a great coach and play an exciting brand of football.“
Despite Western Sydney's narrow loss, Wanderers’ goalscorer Erica Hollaway wasn’t too disappointed with the her side's performance.
“It’s very disappointing. We came out firing in the second half, but gave them too much respect in the first. Credit to the girls, we did put in for the whole 90 (minutes).
“We knew that we needed to keep the ball, so that’s what we did better in the second half, but in the end our passing execution let us down.”