The Newcastle Jets notched a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday evening.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets notched a 2-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday evening.
The match started with a flurry of half chances for both sides inside the opening 10 minutes.
Jets striker Adam Taggart had the first sight of goal after five minutes, turning just inside the Wanderers- half before firing a long-range shot from 30 metres out that sailed over the crossbar.
Less than a minute later, Joel Griffiths did well to chest Sam Gallaway-s cross from the left wing down into the path of Emile Heskey.
The former England international struck the ball powerfully with his left boot from just inside the penalty box, but was unable to trouble Ante Covic with the ball rocketing over the shot-stopper-s goal.
The Wanderers responded through their own marquee man, with former Japanese international Shinji Ono finding himself in space outside the penalty area, only to drag his shot across the face of Mark Birighitti-s goal.
After an intriguing start, the match descended into somewhat of a lull with the next clear-cut opportunity not arising until the 23rd minute, when Youssouf Hersi headed Ono-s cross from the left into the side netting.
Following a clever ball into feet from Andrew Hoole, Heskey brought out a sharp save from Covic in the 31st minute with a curling right-footed shot from the edge of the area that looked destined for the bottom corner.
Hoole was involved again six minutes later when he delivered a delightful ball from the left flank to the back post that picked out an unmarked Kew Jaliens.
The former Dutch international made no mistake from close range, keeping his header down and burying it into the back of the net to give the Jets a 1-0 advantage heading into the half-time interval.
The second half started in a cagey fashion, with both sides working their way back into the contest after the break.
The first clear-cut opportunity of the second half fell to Taggart in the 59th minute, after the Young Socceroo was played through on goal following delightful slide-rule pass from Heskey.
Taggart showed good pace to leave Nikolai Topor-Stanley behind, before trying to slide the ball past Covic into the bottom corner, only to be thwarted by an outstanding one-handed save by the Wanderers shot-stopper.
Taggart would not be denied six minutes later when he was once again put through on goal by a ball over the top from Heskey.
The 20-year-old showed good strength to hold off Topor-Stanley, before turning onto his right boot and firing a shot that deflected off the foot of Matthew Spiranovic and past Covic to give the Jets a 2-0 lead.
After doubling their advantage, the Jets did a brilliant job of killing the game off in the final 25 minutes.
Heskey was immense up front for the Jets, not losing an aerial battle all evening and doing a fantastic job of holding the ball up under pressure.
Zenon Caravella-s workrate in the centre of the park ensured Ono-s influence was limited in the dying stages, while Kew Jaliens and Josh Mitchell were rock solid for the Jets in the heart of defence.
The Wanderers best chance of getting a goal back came from a set-piece in the 89th minute, with Topor-Stanley heading Ono-s corner over the crossbar.
Aside from that, the home side barely threatened as the Jets hung on for a 2-0 victory.
Western Sydney Wanderers 0 Newcastle Jets 2 (Jaliens 37-, Taggart 65-)