Heskey scores as Jets defeat Sydney FC 3-2

The Newcastle Jets defeated Sydney FC 3-2 in front of 35,419 fans at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

Emile Heskey scored his first goal in the A-League as the Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defeated Sydney FC 3-2 at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.

The Jets started the match on the front foot and nearly silenced the majority of the 35,419 fans in attendance after 10 minutes when James Virgili was put through on goal by a well-weighted through ball from Heskey.

Unfortunately for the large contingent of travelling Jets supporters, Virgili dwelt on the ball for a moment too long and the Sky Blues were able to scramble the ball out for a corner.

However from the ensuing Craig Goodwin corner, Trent McLenahan failed to clear the ball with his header and it fell kindly for Ryan Griffiths who poked it home through a sea of legs with his left foot to put the Jets ahead 1-0.

Newcastle almost doubled their advantage only minutes later, when Goodwin was put through on goal by Jobe Wheelhouse. The former Melbourne Heart player struck a powerful low drive with his left boot that had Necevski beaten, only for the ball to ricochet off the post

The Jets continued to dominate the opening exchanges, with Heskey nearly nodding home a Goodwin corner in the 15th minute.

However, it was Sydney-s marquee striker, Alessandro Del Piero who was the first of the big names to get on the score sheet.

The former Italian international was fouled 25 metres from the Jets- goal by Tiago. He duly shook himself off before hitting a sublime dipping free-kick over the Newcastle wall and into the back of the net to level the scores.

Not to be outdone, Newcastle-s very own marquee star restored the Jets- lead in the 41st minute when he met Griffiths- cross with his right boot to expertly finish past Necevski and give the Jets a 2-1 lead at the break.

The Jets maintained their attacking impetus in the second half with Griffiths and Zadkovich both forcing Necevski to make quality reflex saves.

Eventually Newcastle once again found a way past Necevski in the 62nd minute, with Griffiths playing a neat through-ball to Goodwin who calmly chipped the on-rushing keeper to double the Jets- lead.

Sydney FC refused to lie down and were given a sniff of hope in the 74th minute when Blake Powell was left unmarked at the back post and was able to head home Brett Emerton-s cross from the right wing.

The Jets were able to withstand a Sydney FC onslaught in the final 15 minutes and maintained their composure to secure their first win of the 2012/13 A-League season.

Newcastle Jets 3 (Griffiths 11', Heskey 41', Goodwin 63') Sydney FC 2 (Del Piero 25', Powell 74')

Allianz Stadium Referee: Chris Beath Crowd: 35,419

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk), 2. Scott Neville (6. Ben Kantarovski 70-), 3. Tiago Calvano, 4. Josh Mitchell, 5. Dominik Ritter, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey (19. Michael Bridges 77-), 15. Craig Goodwin, 16. Jobe Wheelhouse (c), 17. James Virgili (10. Bernardo Ribeiro 64-), 23. Ryan Griffiths.

Sub not used: 30. Jack Duncan (gk) Yellow cards: Tiago (25-), Ryan Griffiths (53-), Kantarovski (90+5-)

Sydney FC: 1. Ivan Necevski, 3. Fabio, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Adam Griffiths (12. Blake Powell 63-), 10. Alessandro Del Piero, 11. Dimitri Petratos (2. Sebastian Ryall 47-) 14. Mitch Mallia, 15. Terry McFlynn (c) (9. Paul Reid 57-), 18. Trent McClenahan, 19. Kruno Lovrek, 22. Ali Abbas.

Subs not used: 20. Vedran Janjetovic (gk) Yellow cards: Petratos (20-), Lovrek (32-) Ryall (59-), Abbas (67-)