A Michael Bridges double has inspired Newcastle to a convincing 3-1 victory over Sydney FC in their National Youth League clash at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.
A Michael Bridges brace has inspired Newcastle to a convincing 3-1 victory over Sydney FC in their National Youth League clash at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Bridges gave the visitors a dream start with a goal in the third minute and doubled the advantage in the 47th with a spectacular strike from the edge of the penalty box.
The Englishman capped a dominant performance by setting up Bernado Ribero's goal in the 75th minute to effectively seal Newcastle's second victory of the season.
Aaron Calver got one back for Sydney in the 80th minute but it did little to prevent a third straight defeat for the Sky Blues.
It was an impressive performance from the Jets, who were reduced to 10 men in the 19th minute when Taylor Regan was red-carded for taking down Alec Urosevski on the edge of the penalty box.
Despite being a man down the visitors created more chances and dominated territory and possession for large chunks of the match to move into the top four for the first time this season.
Bridges' early strike set the tone for the Jets.
Andrew Hoole made a dangerous run through the box and sent an inviting ball across the face of goal.
An unmarked Bridges made no mistake on the far post, tapping the ball home for the easiest of goals after a deflection from Bobby Russell.
That sparked the hosts into action, Dimi Petratos and Urosevski both firing shots at the target but failing to get past Matthew Nash in the Newcastle goal.
Bridges showed his class again in the 12th minute with a jinking run and a powerful strike that sailed just wide of the target.
The loss of Regan threatened to ruin the visitors' afternoon but the hosts were unable to take advantage of the extra man before the break and fell further behind when Bridges secured his double early in the second half.
After receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty box, the former Premier League star turned and unleashed a thunderous right-foot strike that landed in the top right corner of Ryan Norval's goal.
Bridges continued to terrorise the Sydney keeper, forcing another save in the 73rd minute before providing the final pass for Ribero's match winner two minutes later.
Sydney FC 1 (Calver 80,) Newcastle Jets 3 (Bridges 3, 47, Ribero 75)