Season over for United

Stacey Papadopoulos. (Ljubica Vrankovic)

Western United’s elimination final with the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night in the A-League Women’s competition had everything but the result United was after.

Hosting its first final at Tarneit, United was hoping to knock the Jets off for the first time this season and continue deeper into finals.

The Jets opened the scoring in the 11th minute before Alana Cerne levelled the scores for United.

The Jets again hit the lead just after half time, before the lights went out, with a more than 20 minute delay ensuing.

Catherine Zimmerman soon levelled the scores for the home team again.

Scores finished locked at 2-2 at the end of regular time, sending the match into extra time.

Melina Ayres gave the Jets the lead again in the 101st minute, before Sophie Hoban sealed the win for the Jets in the 113th with her side’s fourth goal.

That would be the final score with the Jets winning, 4-2.

United coach Kat Smith said she was proud of how the group had been able to keep their composure through everything that occurred.

“How about the drama?” she said. “Wasn’t expecting lights out, maybe use it as a metaphor and knocking a team out of the finals.

“It actually happened, given all of those different circumstances that happened within the game.

“The lights going out, a goal disallowed after we’d celebrated and then returned for the kick off.

“A few of those things could really throw a team but the girls remain focused when you know they came over and came up to those hurdles they overcame them.

“I certainly thought that we had enough chances to win the game.”

Smith gave credit to the Jets for the win and their season that they’d had.

Smith said it was disappointing the disallowed goal and such a delay in making that call was unfortunate and said she wanted to understand the process a bit better.

Smith said she didn’t think that they had run out of legs in extra time.

“We had 15 minutes left to play and we wanted to give everything in terms of giving us an opportunity to go all the way in and win the match,” she said.

“We have had significant injuries but that’s not an excuse. We have a squad for the whole year that we look to prepare and you know, make sure they’re as prepared as they can be to step up and fill a shirt when their time comes.

“Significant amount of experience not available is a challenge. But you know that’s not a reason why you win or lose.

“We take a lot of learnings away from that and the players have had an opportunity because of those circumstances they’ll be better for it and then as a club will be better for it going forward.”

Smith, who re-signed during the week said they had been really clear on what they need to be successful and there’s a core group that they want to retain.

“The direction of the club is very strong and clear on what they want. We’ve got the opportunity to grow on what we have so far.”