An Adam Taggart double has steered the Newcastle Jets to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Brisbane Roar.
An Adam Taggart double has steered the Newcastle Jets to a come-from-behind 2-1 win over the Brisbane Roar at a wet and slippery Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After a dour opening half-hour Brisbane was first on the scoreboard just before half-time when Luke Brattan drove a powerful shot through a crowded penalty area.
But the Jets came out firing in the second half equalising in the 51st minute with a sublime chipped shot from Taggart.
A missed penalty from Nathan Burns looked likely to ruin Newcastle's day before Taggart grabbed the winner with a superb left-footed strike in the 74th minute.
The win was soured for Newcastle when key defender Kew Jaliens was sent from the field for dissent just before full-time, meaning he will be suspended for the next week's clash against the Heart.
The match got underway in miserable weather with drizzling rain and a waterlogged, greasy pitch and as a consequence it was safety-first football with both sides trying to deal with the conditions.
The Jets had the first real chance when Ben Kantarovski skirted the left side of the Brisbane defence and took the ball to the byline before firing a dangerous cross into the near post for Taggart on the fly, but Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo intervened with a strong punch on the ball to clear the danger.
The Roar got their first opportunity a short time later when Brattan got the ball on the edge of the area and unleashed a low shot that was smothered by a brave block from Scott Neville.
The Roar hit the lead seven minutes before half-time from a set-piece.
Broich launched a swinging corner that was punched away by Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti but it went only as far as the edge of the box where Brattan drove a low shot through a crowded penalty area.
The ball then deflected off Josh Brillante's leg and into the net for the visitors to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
The Jets came out with more resolve after the interval and they fashioned the first chance of the second half when Neville fired a low cross at the near post where Taggart looked likely to tap in, but Theo came to the rescue again with a brave smother.
Taggart had his revenge just a few moments later when he equalised for the Jets.
Burns chipped a ball over the top for the Newcastle striker who pounced on some indecision from Roar skipper Matthew Smith to take the possession in the box and then sublimely dink his shot over Theo who was sliding in for the smother.
Jets coach Gary van Egmond brought on marquee Emile Heskey for Brillante in the 53rd minute and the former England international was immediately into the action when he headed a Burns cross narrowly wide of the far post.
Newcastle was awarded a penalty in the 65th minute when former Jets captain Jade North handballed a Ruben Zadkovich free-kick in the box.
Burns stepped up to the spot but sent his shot crashing into the crossbar.
The home side continued to press and they were rewarded when Taggart picked up his second goal in the 74th minute.
He ghosted across the penalty box before stepping around Smith and firing a thundering left-foot shot that rifled into the top corner of the net.
Newcastle was forced to defend the final few minutes with 10 men however when Jaliens was sent from the field for dissent after he had words with referee Matthew Gillet to stop play with Jets skipper Zadkovich on the deck with an injury.
The Roar looked to snatch a late equaliser but were kept at bay by a dogged Jets defence that ensured the hosts registered their second win on the trot.
Newcastle Jets 2 (Taggart 51, 74) Brisbane Roar 1 (Brattan 38) Crowd: 7692 at Hunter Stadium