The Newcastle Jets have continued their successful pre-season run, with a win over reigning Hyundai A-League champions, Sydney FC in a pre-season friendly at Magic Park.
In front of a boisterous local crowd, the Jets performed strongly against their well-fancied opponents – eventually running out 2 – 1 victors at Broadmeadow.
Both teams came out with intent, with end-to-end football in the early exchanges as Topor-Stanely and Boogaard thwarted some early opportunities for Brosque and Bobô.
It would be the Jets’ experienced pair that would continue to lead the charge, defending strongly and pushing forward when their side was in possession.
New recruit Daniel Georgievski and Dimi Petratos continued to build on their right-edge combination, working well in the early stages of the opening stanza.
Petratos had some classy touches and would be the one to break the initial deadlock (12’) to put the Jets in front.
In the front third Petratos was supported by O’Donovan and Nabbout, who showcased their speed and work rate – continuing to trouble Sydney’s backmen.
After the break, Lokolingoy put one past Glen Moss after a neat cross from Matt Simon – bringing the visitors back into the contest.
Kantarovski and Ugarkovic were strong in the middle third and were joined by Mario Shabow early in the second half, with the youngster having some sharp touches before edging the home side in front (71’) as he put one past Sydney custodian, Andrew Redmayne.
From the coach:
While the Jets’ boss Ernie Merrick was pleased with the win, he wasn’t getting carried away.
“I take all pre-season results with a pinch of salt and while they were near strength in the first half, they made a number of changes after the break,” said Merrick.
“I’m just pleased we were able to back up our performance against Melbourne City.
“Everyone contributed today which was fantastic, when you play a team like Sydney, you can’t afford to carry anyone and we had strong performers across the park.”
When quizzed on the late change to the starting line-up, Merrick said the omission of Jack Duncan was only a precaution.
“Glenn has had a busy couple of weeks but Jack had a minor niggle and we decided to err on the side of caution this week,” Merrick added.
Ground: Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Referee: Adrian Arntt
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 5. Jordy BUIJS, 6. Joshua BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 9. BOBÔ, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Adrian MIERZEKEWSKI, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 26. Luke WILKSHIRE.
Subs: 30. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 8. Paulo RETRE, 16. Anthony KALIK, 3. Sam MCILLHATTON, 17. David CARNEY, 18. Matt SIMON, 19. Chris ZUVELA, 21. Charles LOKOLINGOY, 22. Seb RYALL, 29. Cristian GONZALEZ, 31. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 51. Patrick SCIBILO.
Subs Not Used: None
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: Lokolingoy (46’)
Newcastle Jets: 20. Glen MOSS (GK), 4. Nigel BOOGAARD, 5. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Dimi PETRATOS, 9. Roy O’DONOVAN, 10. Wayne BROWN, 13. Ivan VUKICA, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: Jason HOFFMAN, Mario SHABOW, Kosta PETRATOS, Nic COWBURN, Lachlan Jackson, Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, Jack DUNCAN (GK)
Subs Not Used: Jack DUNCAN
Yellow Cards: N/A
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: D. Petratos (12’) and Shabow (71’)