Red-hot striker steals a march in Golden Boot race as Jets and Bulls play out a thriller

Check out all the highlights from the Round 18 Isuzu UTE A-League clash between Newcastle Jets and Macarthur FC

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos bagged his 14th goal of the season and now leads the Golden Boot race after Newcastle Jets twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Macarthur FC.

After a tame first half the game burst into life with close to twenty minutes remaining as Ulises Davila fired home the opener before the Jets equalised a minute later through Archie Goodwin.

Valere Germain then headed the away side back into the lead before a late penalty from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos sealed a valuable point for Rob Stanton’s side.

The result moves the Bulls up into fourth on the ladder while the draw leaves Newcastle sat in 11th spot and still eight points outside of the top six.

The Jets started on the front foot and had their first effort on goal in the third minute as defender Lucas Mauragis let fly from the edge of the box however his shot flew wide of the far post.

Striker Trent Buhagiar then sent another sighter towards goal, this time in the 12th minute of the contest, as the Jets pounced on some sloppy play from Macarthur but Buhagiar’s effort found the side netting.

Buhagiar then threatened the Bulls’ goal again after more lacklustre defending from Macarthur before goalkeeper Filip Kurto was called into action in the 19th minute, diving low to his left to tip Callum Timmins’ longe range effort round the post.

The away side finally began to venture forward in the 31st minute as first Jed Drew saw his attempted cross ricochet off a Newcastle defender and on to the post before centre back Tomi Uskok then headed one straight at Jets keeper Ryan Scott from the resulting corner.

The in-form Apostolos Stamatelopoulos then had the best chance of the first half but the Jets forward headed wide of the target from inside the box as it remained goalless at the break.

Rob Stanton’s side carried their momentum into the second half as Lucas Mauragis drilled a low effort towards goal from a tight angle but the shot was well saved by Filip Kurto.

However against the run of play the Bulls broke the deadlock in the 69th minute and it was captain Ulises Davila who did the business.

French striker Valere Germain burst into life on the edge of the box, wriggling through two Jets challenges before returning the ball to Davila who then stabbed a right footed effort past Ryan Scott from the edge of the area.

That goal though seemingly sparked the home side into life. Less than 19 seconds after play had restarted substitutes Daniel Wilmering and Archie Goodwin combined with the former pulling the ball back across goal for the latter to poke home to bring the McDonald Jones faithful to their feet.

Now flowing from end to end, Macarthur retook the lead in the 81st minute and it was Valere Germain who was on hand to bag his 11th goal of the campaign, heading into an empty net after Jets keeper Ryan Scott was caught out of his goal trying to thwart a Bulls attack.

But back came Newcastle once more. Some quick thinking from Archie Goodwin saw him pick out Lucas Mauragis with a throw-in and the full-back was brought down inside the box by a clumsy challenge from Charles M’Mombwa and Stamatelopoulos converted from the spot to make it 2-2.