Jets soar into top six
A 1-0 win over North Queensland Fury has boosted the Jets back into the Hyundai A-League's top six on 31 points.
A first-half goal by young gun Marko Jesic has handed the Newcastle Jets a 1-0 win over North Queensland Fury at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Tuesday night.
The win lifts the Jets back into the Hyundai A-League top six once again, as the team soars to 31 competition points and above Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Heart.
It only took until the 12th minute before Jesic scored the winner in what was an impressive team performance by Newcastle. Labinot Haliti initiated the move with a lung-busting run down the left flank, before hitting a square pass inside the area for Jesic to finish unmarked at the far post.
The home side almost doubled their advantage a few minutes later through Ruben Zadkovich, who was played in behind the Fury defence by a delightful Kasey Wehrman pass. With goalkeeper Sebastian Usai scrambling, Zadkovich mishit his strike over the bar, much to the dismay of the healthy Tuesday night crowd.
Clear cut chances were rare for the remainder of the opening half, but the Jets were always on the front foot and scarcely looked troubled against the Townsville side.
Shotstopper Ben Kennedy was substituted for Matt Nash at halftime as a precaution, and the second-half ‘keeper was called upon to make a couple of important interventions. In the 62nd minute, Nash did well to get down low and smother a Jason Spagnuolo strike from close range to keep the Jets in front.
It was to be the visitors' best chance to equalise, with the Jets creating a number of chances to extend their lead in the second stanza.
With the final whistle beckoning, the 8,218 fans inside EnergyAustralia Stadium rose as one as it appeared substitute Sasho Petrovski had put the game beyond doubt. The striker headed goalward toward the far post from a Tarek Elrich cross, but an incredible fingertip save by Usai kept the Fury in the contest.
The Jets would ultimately prevail, though, relegating North Queensland to their fifth defeat in their past six outings.
The Jets will now be full of confidence as they prepare to take on fierce local rivals the Central Coast Mariners next Sunday, 16 January in what is sure to be one of the most mouthwatering matches of the season. To secure your seat for the F3 Derby, visit www.proticket.com.au.
Match Details: Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk) (40. Matt NASH (gk) 46-), 2. Taylor REGAN, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 7. Kasey WEHRMAN (c), 10. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Labinot HALITI (13. Sasho PETROVSKI 68-), 17. Marcello FIORENTINI, 18. Marko JESIC, 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS (26. James VIRGILI 80-)
Unused Substitutes: 25. Sam GALLAWAY
Yellow cards: Sasho Petrovski 73-
Red cards Nil
North Queensland Fury: 28. Sebastian USAI (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 5. Mark HUGHES (4. Eric AKOTO 46-), 7. Gareth EDDS (c), 8. Adam CASEY, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 15. Chris PAYNE (3. Bradley MCDONALD 59-), 18. Brett STUDMAN (12. Panny NIKAS 59-), 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 24. Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU
Unused Substitutes: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets: 1 (Jesic 12-) North Queensland Fury: 0 Crowd: 8,218 at EnergyAustralia Stadium