A travel-weary Newcastle Jets rode their luck at times, but ultimately came away from Cbus Super Stadium with a 1-0 win to secure their first ever FFA Cup Round of 16 berth.
Their opponents the Gold Coast Knights, put on a fantastic showing but were ultimately unable to break down the Newcastle defence.
It was a man from that defence who scored the game’s solitary goal – captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley – who finished from close range early in the first half to hand Newcastle a maiden FFA Cup victory.
It was a good opening stanza for the hosts, who had the Jets worried on a number of occasions with their speed in transition.
The Knights had the first real chance of the match in just the fourth minute when Morgan Saunders found himself one-on-one with Glen Moss but the custodian was able to keep his shot out.
Newcastle opened the scoring shortly after when Nikolai Topor-Stanley was on hand to turn in a loose ball from a corner.
Despite the goal the match was still very much in the balance, with the Knights heading over from a corner and Kosta Petratos rattling the crossbar from outside the 18-yard box.
Gold Coast had a good chance of their own, Justyn McKay with a hit from outside the box which forced Moss into a good save.
McKay had a similar opportunity just minutes into the second half, which forced Moss to make a near-identical stop – the Jets gloveman showing all his experience and class as he turned in a brilliant display between the sticks.
It was a frenetic start to the second stanza and the Gold Coast almost had a goal in the 53rd minute when Nicholas Panetta was free at the back post, but he wasn’t able to turn his shot home.
Newcastle wrestled control of the match as the evening wore on, with substitute Joey Champness breathing new life into the visitors attack.
The best Jets best chance to seal the match came in the 86th minute via Champness, who teed up Angus Thurgate with a low cross from the left edge. Thurgate hit the underside of the crossbar, as his first Cup goal beckoned.
With time running out the Gold Coast threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Jets in the search of a late equaliser, but the Jets held on in their fourth game in 10 days.
The Jets break their FFA Cup drought and move onto the Round of 16, facing Melbourne City on the road.