26/02/2024

Perth's Rylee Blaisden scored two goals in the draw against Newcastle (Image: Perth Glory)

Despite a brace from American Forward Rylee Baisden, Perth are still winless to start the 2022/23 Liberty A-League season. A 2-2 draw with Newcastle on Saturday afternoon leaves them in ninth after three rounds.

Baisden twice gave the visitors the lead at No.2 Sportsground, but the Jets were able to find an equaliser on both occasions in front of the home crowd. 

Glory had another slow start, giving up 11 shots in the first half compared to having just two of their own. However, they went into the break leading thanks to the American’s first, a lovely finish on the volley from a Hintzen cross.

It was a breakout game for Baisden, who made a brief stint in the League in 2020 with Brisbane. Perth Coach Alex Epakis was thrilled with her game, saying she got better as the match went on.  

“She had a huge influence on the game,” Epakis said.

“Once she scored her first goal, her performance went to another level in other areas of her game, she’s a real asset.”

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The second half provided a much more exciting display, the home team drew level through veteran Lauren Allen. Just four minutes later Baisden gave Perth the lead again, this time with a classy headed finish from the cross of Wallhead.

Super-sub Ashlee Brodigan leveled the match just seven minutes after coming on, much to the dismay of the Glory camp. It was a frustrating feeling for the Perth Coach, who feels like they were the better team on the day.

“We played well enough to get the win, but we just didn’t do enough to shut them out,” he said.

“When you go up twice and don’t win, you end up feeling a bit flat after.”

The Jets finish the round in fifth place on four points as they start a tough December draw. Ash Wilson’s side only plays one home game in their opening five matches.

After a big win last week, being able to come back from behind twice will help keep the confidence levels up as the Newcastle side is searching to push up the ladder. Midfielder Murphy Agnew was disappointed they didn’t capitalise on a strong first half but was proud to see their response in the second.

“We were more dominant in the first half, had a couple of chances, and they just scored on a good transitional break,” Agnew said.

“In the second half, it was a bit more back and forth, definitely a bit more equal.

“It definitely is a bit of a morale-booster that we came back twice from being down a goal, it just shows our resilience as a team.”

The Jets are on the road again next week when they take on second-placed Melbourne City at Casey Fields. While Perth will host Melbourne Victory at Macedonia Park next Sunday night.

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