They are very much the competition’s most improved side and they came within a whisker of beating the Sky Blues after a display that brought back memories of when they won the league on the same ground in 2008. In the end the 2-2 draw kept Sydney eight points clear of the Jets at the halfway stage of the premiership and enabled them to set a record of 24 consecutive unbeaten home matches.

However the league leaders had to fall back on all their experience and expertise to survive the stiffest test they have had to face all season. The Jets led twice and played well enough for most of the game to suggest that they are not only a most pleasant reality in the competition but a genuine force to be reckoned with.

And they did this with a heavily depleted side that was shorn of at least five regulars, among them suspended defender Nigel Boogaard and injured striker Roy O’Donovan. Sydney must have been happy to snatch a point from such a difficult assignment against a fearless team that had them on the ropes for a long time in the first half.

The Jets defended diligently, kept their shape in midfield and used their speed up front to unsettle the home team’s rearguard. Only Milos Ninkovic’s intervention when he ghosted past four defenders to score a peach of a goal reminiscent of Ricky Villa’s famous strike for Tottenham Hotspur against Manchester City in the 1981 FA Cup final deprived them of taking a one-goal lead at half time from a potent header by Andrew Nabbout.

The Jets went ahead again with an opportunist goal from Joe Champness before Brazilian Bobo headed in Sydney’s second equaliser from close range with three minutes left. It was no more than the Sky Blues deserved but they must know that, after such a narrow escape, the Jets will be breathing down their necks for the rest of the competition. Read more from…

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