Brisbane Roar have sealed second spot on the Westfield W-League ladder with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Newcastle Jets in a thrilling contest at Adamstown Oval on Saturday afternoon.

Both sides played the match looking for the win with the Jets needing victory to force a semi-final spot, while the Roar were looking to consolidate a top-two position in a frantic end-to-end battle from start to finish and an excellent exhibition of fair-play football.

The Jets applied the early pressure, but it was the visitors who grabbed the lead via winger Lana Harch on the half-hour for Brisbane to hold a 1-0 lead at the break.

Newcastle struck back early in the second half through attacking midfielder Linda O’Neill to make it 1-1 but a late brace to Roar substitute Emily Gielnik handed Brisbane a thrilling win.

The victory lifts Brisbane into clear second spot on 18 points while the Jets are in fifth on 12 points but still in mathematical contention for a semi-final spot just two points behind Melbourne with one round left to play.

The match started in perfect conditions with warm, sunny weather and a cool breeze and it was the home side that pushed the play.

Lisa De Vanna, O’Neill and Nicola Bolger fashioned early chances from the edge of the penalty area before the Roar came back into it with Catherine Cannuli and Tameka Butt seeing their well-timed shots saved by Jets goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri.

The Roar pinched the lead in the 29th minute when Harch timed her run to perfection to get in behind the Jets defence on a long ball from Brooke Spence. She took play into the box before coolly lobbing Barbieri to put the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

The home side looked to hit back immediately with Emily van Egmond controlling play in the middle of the park. Egmond set up De Vanna for a shot in the 33rd minute that went agonisingly wide of the far post before lobbing a ball over for Bolger to send her shot flying over the crossbar from 15 yards, as the Roar held on for a 1-0 lead at the break.

The Jets kept up the pressure in the second half and were rewarded when O’Neill equalised in the 53rd minute. Defender Stacey Day slid a lovely through ball in for O’Neill, who took it to the edge of the area before fashioning a lovely lobbed strike. Roar keeper Casey Dumont leapt high to push the ball into the crossbar but it bounced back down and into the goal for a 1-1 score line.

The Jets almost went ahead a few minutes later when De Vanna crossed to the six-yard box for van Egmond. But some brilliant defending from Roar skipper Clare Polkinghorne averted the danger as she calmly headed back to Dumont.

The Roar brought on towering striker Emily Gielnik for Joanne Burgess in the 64th minute and she turned the game in the visitors’ favour when she netted after just five minutes on the field.

Gielnik took a crisp pass with her back to goal on the edge of the area before turning and sliding a low shot inside the far corner for a 2-1 lead.

The Jets searched desperately for an equaliser but came up agonisingly short as De Vanna, who toiled valiantly all game, was denied by Dumont and then the crossbar.

Down the other end Butt went close to putting the game to bed when she tried to lob Barbieri but the ball landed on top of the net before Butt fired a vicious shot inches over after being set up by Cannuli.

The Roar eventually sealed the win when Gielnik pounced on a deflected clearance from the Jets defence and then slotted home from 15 yards to give Brisbane a well-earned 3-1 win.

Newcastle Jets 1 (O’Neill 53)
Brisbane Roar 3 (Harch 29, Gielnik 69, 90)
Crowd 822 at Adamstown Oval, Newcastle.