Late drama AGAIN in Perth! Golden Boot contender’s 18-minute brace rescues a point for Glory

Perth Glory v Newcastle Jets - Highlights | Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 | Round 20

A second-half brace from Adam Taggart saw Perth Glory come from two goals down to steal a point in a dramatic 2-2 draw with Newcastle Jets at HBF Park on Saturday night.

Clayton Taylor opened the scoring late in the first half for the Jets and Lucas Mauragis doubled the advantage after the restart as the Jets looked set to cruise to an impressive victory on the road.

But Perth rallied as they so often have this season. Adam Taggart pegged one back for the hosts and Kaelan Majekodunmi had the ball in the back of the net soon after for what the 20-year-old thought was the equaliser before referee Lachlan Keevers stifled the celebrations.

Keevers ruled out the Glory leveller for a block from Joel Anasmo on Apostolos Stamatelopoulos, preventing the Jets star from tracking Majekodunmi’s run to the back post where he headed home Giordano Colli’s free-kick delivery.

The hosts continued to search for the all-important equaliser and co-captain Taggart duly obliged with an 89th-minute header to bring his side back on level terms and take his individual goal tally to 14 for the campaign.

The Socceroos striker and Glory co-captain now sits level on 14 goals with former Golden Boot leader Apostolos Stamatelopoulos – who hit the post but couldn’t find the back of the net on Saturday night.

But both Taggart and Stamatelopoulos trail Melbourne Victory star Bruno Fornaroli by a solitary goal, after he reclaimed the lead on the Isuzu UTE A-League scoring leaderboard with a brace of his own in a 2-1 win over Adelaide United earlier on Saturday.

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The Jets struck the first blow in the four-goal draw against Perth, with Taylor’s finish into the bottom-right corner giving the visitors the ascendancy late in the first half.

Glory midfielder Mustafa Amini threatened soon after with a rasping strike from the edge of the area but Ryan Scott made a strong save in goal for the Jets to ensure the one-goal lead stood at the break.

Glory needed a response after half-time but a lacklustre piece of defending, following a superb save by Oli Sail to deny Stamatelopoulos, allowed Mauragis to swoop in and score Newcastle’s second – thanks to a wicked deflection.

All seemed lost for Perth as they trailed by two heading into the final 20 minutes but a moment of quality from Taggart sparked a late charge.

Taggart took one touch to control a ball over the Jets’ defensive line, before adjusting his body to fire home his first of the night and halve the deficit at HBF Park.

Then came a moment of controversy as Majekodunmi’s close-range header was wiped from the scoresheet by referee Keevers after a block by Anasmo in the build-up.

In the last minute of regular time, Glory won a corner and Colli’s delivery was on a plate for Taggart to attack and bury into the back of the net to wrestle a point back for the home side.