Jets defeat Sydney FC in Cessnock

The Newcastle Jets have continued their unbeaten preseason run with a 1-0 victory over Sydney FC at Cessnock Sports Ground on Saturday...

The Newcastle Jets have continued their unbeaten preseason run with a 1-0 victory over Sydney FC at Cessnock Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon.

The Jets put in a comfortable first half performance to hold a one goal advantage but had to survive a late scare when Sydney FC's Nick Carle saw his penalty attempt tipped onto the post after 90 minutes.

The Jets set a frantic pace early on and took just three minutes to create their first opportunity when Ruben Zadkovich found Labinot Haliti in front of goal but Haliti send his header just wide.

Ryan Griffiths then looked certain to open to scoring on seven minutes when he picked up possession near the half way line and beat three defenders before hitting the cross bar with his final shot on goal.

The action continued and after ten minutes Nikolai Topor-Stanley had his header cleared off the line from an Ali Abbas corner.

The match soon leveled out and Sydney FC looked threatening on the edge of area after 25 minutes but found it difficult to break down the Jets defence.

Griffiths again showed his pace down the left hand side and sent a shot past the back post on 38 minutes, but suffered a hamstring injury and needed to be replaced by James Virgili.

It turned out to be a wonder change for the Jets with Virgili scoring with his first touch of the ball after some excellent build up play from Tarek Elrich.

Newcastle took a one goal lead into the half time break after Virgili-s goal on 42 minutes.

They looked to extend their lead after the break and Jobe Wheelhouse sent his shot over the cross bar on 49 minutes after being played in by Ruben Zadkovich on the edge of the area.

Sydney looked a far better side in the second half and held a lot more possession, but still struggled to capitalise on making any real clear cut chances in front of goal.

Matthew Nash was a second half replacement for Ben Kennedy in goal and he was forced to make a nice save to prevent Sydney FC's Shannon Cole on 77 minutes.

Cole then sent his volley over the bar two minutes later after being found in space at the back post but couldn-t take the advantage to find an equaliser.

Nick Carle had a chance to level the scores on 88 minutes but sent his shot just wide of the post as Sydney continued to push forward.

The script was almost written for former Newcastle Jets player Nick Carle when he had a chance to equalise on 90 minutes but saw his penalty attempt bounce back off the left upright.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 1 (Virgili 43-) Sydney FC 0

Cessnock Sports Ground, Cessnock Crowd Attendance: 1,786

Referee: S. Wolfe

Newcastle Jets line up: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK) (40. Matthew NASH (GK) 45-), 11.Tarek ELRICH (16. Sam GALLAWAY), 5. Tiago CALVANO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 13. Byun SUNG-HWAN (3. Mario SIMIC 75-), 21. Jacob PEPPER (7. Kasey WHERMAN 55-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS (17. James VIRGILLI 40-), 10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 22. Ali ABBAS, 14. Labinot HALITI (15. Chris PAYNE 55-).

Sydney FC line up: 1. Liam REDDY (GK), 3. Jamie COYNE, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 9. Bruno CAZARINE (18. Juho MAKELA 55-), 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Dimitrio PETRATOS (12. Shannon COLE 60-), 15. Terry McFLYNN, 17. Terry ANTONIS (6. Hirofumi MORIYASU 70-), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Nathan SHERLOCK. Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI, 24. Milos DEGENEK, 25. Daniel PETKOVSKI.