As Ernie Merrick described it, the Newcastle Jets have ‘stolen’ three points in the west after a come-from-behind victory at the death against Perth Glory.
In a scrappy fixture at NIB Stadium, the Jets played well in patches but lacked the trademark polish in the final third that fans have become accustomed to in the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season.
It was Perth that came out of the blocks with all the running, creating chances early as Glen Moss was made to work hard by Mitch Nichols – making a spectacular save inside the opening 10 minutes.
The home side found success early as they attacked down the left edge, creating a number of opportunities through Mills and Italiano.
As the match ticked past it’s 20th minute, Mills whipped a pinpoint cross into the area, which Joey Knowles clinically finished with a single touch – scoring his first A-League goal.
The Jets were able to maintain possession for extended periods and while their build up through the midfield showed promise, an equaliser continued to evade the visitors.
Ernie Merrick rang in the changes not long into the second half, as Roy O’Donovan returned from injury off the bench and Johnny Koutroumbis joined the play.
O’Donovan found himself in the thick of things early, with a number of menacing runs that caused havoc for the Glory defence.
As the clock ticked down towards full time, the Jets continued to push for an equaliser and it came through Koutroumbis with a volleyed strike in the 88th minute – courtesy of O’Donovan header from the set piece.
It would be another O’Donovan header that would see the Jets secure the win in injury time, as deflected chance caught Glory defender, Jeremy Walker awkwardly and found its way into the back of the net.
The late run which saw two goals in four minutes, meant the Jets would take three points back across the Nullarbor and secure second position on the ladder.
From the coach:
“I thought it was a really scrappy game, but the better team was Perth Glory without a doubt. The police have just come into the dressing room and charged us with stealing three points.
“Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck, we’ve played some really good games and finished up either losing or getting a draw … we were a bit lucky tonight
“Playing over here to walk away with three points is a good result for us, but it was a very, very poor performance.”
1’ | 0 – 0 | Play is underway in Perth as Ben Kantarovski makes his 150th appearance for the Newcastle Jets #PERvNEW
7’ | 0 – 0 | A quick throw form the Glory catches the Jets defence off guard, Glen Moss keeps away a shot on goal from Nichols with an excellent touch #PERvNEW
12’ | 0 – 0 | OFFSIDE! A neat interchange of passing makes it way to Nabbout at the front, but the in-form attacker’s run was deemed illegal #PERvNEW
19’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Petratos causing havoc on the counter, he releases Nabbout who struck his shot well, but pulled it just across the face of goal #PERvNEW
21’ | 0 – 1 | Joe Knowles gets the home side off the mark #PERvNEW
33’ | 0 – 1 | Vujica, Moss and Boogaard all combine well in defence to nullify a dangerous Glory opportunity #PERvNEW
58’ | 0 – 1 | SUB: Brown makes way for O’Donovan – welcome back Roy! #PERvNEW
59’ | 0 – 1 | O’Donovan in the thick of it from the get go! Almost getting his way through the Glory defence #PERvNEW
80’ | 0 – 1 | A great cross in to the penalty area as a charging O’Donovan and Liam Reddy collide – brave stuff from both players! #PERvNEW
88’ | 1 – 1 | GOAL! Koutroumbis! #PERvNEW
88’ | 1 – 1 | Koutroumbis gets on the end of a ball at the far post, and with a volleyed strike draws us level in Perth #PERvNEW
90+1’ | 1 – 1 | Devante Clut with some exceptional service into the box for O’Donovan, as he tussles with a defender and earns a corner #PERvNEW
90+2’ | 2 – 1 | GOAL! We go ahead through an own goal by Walker #PERvNEW
Newcastle Jets: 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 20.Glenn MOSS (gk), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.Devante CLUT, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)
Subs Not Used: 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 30.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)
Yellow Cards: 15.Andrew NABBOUT (15’), 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (62’)
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: 18.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (88’), 29.Jeremy WALKER (90+2’ OG)
Perth Glory: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY (c), 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Xavi TORRES, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joseph MILLS, 19.Joe KNOWLES, 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 29.Jeremy WALKER, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
Subs: 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 11. Mitch MALLIA, 13 Nick FEELY (gk), 17.Diego CASTRO, 20.Jake BRIMMER
Subs Not Used: 11. Mitch MALLIA, 13 Nick FEELY (gk)
Yellow Cards: 29.Jeremy WALKER (34’), 4.Shane LOWRY (70’)
Red Cards: N/A
Goals: 19.Joe KNOWLES (20’)