Sport Football Wanderers bottom after late Jets penalty
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Wanderers bottom after late Jets penalty

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Newcastle stayed off the bottom of the A-League ladder after an injury-time penalty gave them a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.

The Wanderers, who are one point behind Newcastle in last place, but have two games in hand, went ahead from an unlucky handball from Jets defender Daniel Mullen in the 85th minute.

Against his former club, Mullen back-heeled the ball onto his arm, giving substitute Brendon Santalab a chance from the spot which he converted with a cheeky chip to the right of keeper Ben Kennedy.

The Wanderers looked the more dangerous side throughout the game and appeared set to score a deserved win before Antony Golec handballed a vicious shot from Nick Cowburn in the 92nd minute.

Korean Lee Ki-je, in his first start and second appearance for Newcastle, converted the penalty with a crisp left-foot strike.

The draw was a much-needed boost for Newcastle, who conceded an own goal last week in injury time to lose 2-1 to Brisbane after a fortnight of turmoil.

Five players and three staff were sacked by Jets owner Nathan Tinkler, who has been issued a show-cause notice by Football Federation Australia over his management of the embattled club.

The result was a further blow for the Wanderers, who created the bulk of chances in the round 17 match.

The Jets did not fire a shot at the Wanderers goal until captain Taylor Regan headed a corner over the crossbar in the 54th minute and their first shot on target was a tame Lee strike straight at goalkeeper Ante Covic in the 56th.

Western Sydney had a goal from Labinot Haliti rightfully denied for offside in the 35th minute.

Earlier on Saturday, Wellington and Melbourne City played out a 0-0 draw.

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