Newcastle Jets’ Westfield W-League finals aspirations hang by a thread after they fell 3-1 to Sydney FC at Jubilee Oval on Friday evening.
A brace to Savannah McCaskill and a Princess Ibini goal were enough to overcome a Jets side that was given late hope through a Libby Copus-Brown wonder-strike eight minutes from time.
Jets goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom had to be on her toes early to bat away an effort from Danielle Colaprico after the American’s first-time strike sailed towards the far post.
The Newcastle defence was struggling to contain Sydney’s attacking trio and in the 28th minute their resistance was broken courtesy of a McCaskill header.
Caitlin Foord was put through and delivered a pin-point cross to the American forward, whose perfectly timed header gave Eckerstrom no chance.
With her defence giving her no respite Eckerstrom was called upon again four minutes later but was able to put enough pressure on Colaprico to force her shot wide.
McCaskill had a chance to bring up a hat-trick just before the hour mark but both her header and shot were brilliantly saved by Eckerstrom within the space of two minutes.
The Jets goalkeeper was in fine form, keeping her side in the contest but there was nothing she could do about Sydney’s second.
Sofia Huerta beat two defenders before calmly sending the ball across goal and into the path of substitute Ibini who made no mistake from directly in front.
With 13 minutes left to play the Sky Blues would have hoped for a quiet end to the match but they would get no such thing as, in the 82nd minute, Copus-Brown popped up from outside the box to rifle in a long-range effort that left Bledsoe clutching at thin air.
In a day for the goalkeepers, Bledsoe stepped up to deny the Jets an almost instantaneous equaliser on the end of a counter attack.
As the visitors continued to push players forward they were finally caught out and McCaskill nabbed her brace with a simple finish in during injury time.