The Jets have finished their Hyundai A-League 2018/19 campaign on a high, running out 2-0 winners over Sydney FC at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Despite being all but a dead rubber, the match was played at a high intensity with both teams enjoying periods of ascendancy, however the Jets proved the more clinical in the final third.
It was a strong start for the Jets in the opening minutes, controlling possession and enjoying the lion’s share of territory. At the back, Boogaard and Topor-Stanley remained resolute, while Kantarvoski and Thurgate looked to control the midfield.
The Port Macquarie product enjoyed his second consecutive Hyundai A-League start and drew high praise from Merrick post-match for another strong performance.
Joey Champness continued where he left off last week against Brisbane, getting the ball in space and attacking the Sydney defence, in what would become a fascinating running battle with Rhyan Grant.
The pacey winger would open up the play for the first chance of the game, as he broke down the left to link with Petratos for a one-two before the ball found O’Donovan for a first time strike – the Irishman’s effort sailing just over the crossbar.
Glen Moss was called into action just inside the quarter-hour mark, as Ghoochannejhad tested him with an early strike. It was the start of Sydney finding their way into things, as they took control of a match that quickly opened up.
The experienced stopper was able to comfortably thwart Sydney’s attempts on goal on his way to a clean sheet and another standout performance.
The Jets would eventually find the breakthrough from a set piece late in the first half, as Ben Kantarovski took advantage of a goalmouth scramble.
In one of the stranger goals he’ll ever score, the midfielder found the ball at his feet in heavy traffic after Redmayne came off his line and found himself out of position – with only the simplest of strikes required for the finish.
After the break, Ernie Merrick’s side were able to wrangle the momentum they’d gained following Kantarvoski’s goal as Joe Champness continued to cause major problems for the Sky Blue’s defence.
The young winger played an integral role in his side’s second goal, as he opened up space for Lachlan Jackson to whip in a cutting, low cross, a Redmayne fumble fell into the path of Petratos who made no mistake with the finish.
Ronald Vargas made his final appearance for the Club from the bench, with the Venezuelan receiving a rousing reception from the Novocastrian faithful.
In the end Merrick’s men held on for a victory in their final fixture, as they now begin planning for the 2019/20 season.