Ten-man Newcastle Jets secured a 3-2 comeback win over Western Sydney Wanderers to consolidate second spot in the Foxtel National Youth League.
Ten-man Newcastle Jets secured an impressive 3-2 comeback win over Western Sydney Wanderers to consolidate second spot in the Foxtel National Youth League.
The Wanderers were a goal and a man up early in the second half only for the resilient Jets to rally and claim an impressive victory at Campbelltown Stadium.
Newcastle fielded a trio of overage players with Hyundai A-League experience in Josh Mitchell, James Virgili and James Brown, while the home side did likewise fielding goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson, Kwabena Appiah and Tahj Minniecon.
It was Appiah who set up the opener for the Wanderers after outpacing his man on the right before pulling back for an easy close-range finish from Lawrence Hanna.
However, Virgili drew the sides level on 33 minutes with a sharp finish to send the teams into the break level.
The Jets task was made all the more harder just three minutes after the interval when captain James Brown was dismissed for needlessly lashing out at his opponent having already committed a foul.
Within minutes the Wanderers went ahead as Alusine Fofanah lashed home to leave the home side very much in the ascendency.
However, Virgili matched Fofanah's effort on the hour mark with a sharp burst of pace and smart finish to draw the Jets level for the second time as he completed his brace.
The goal of the match appropriately enough proved to be the match-winner with the exciting Virgili showing impressive speed and close control on the right to set up Nick Cowburn who swept home at the back post for the decisive moment of the contest.
The Wanderers had a late chance to earn a share of the spoils but Sean Symons was unable to turn the ball home from an acute angle at the back post from a corner.
Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Lawrence Hanna 17', Alusine Fofanah 54')
Newcastle Jets 3 (James Virgili 32', 62', Nick Cowburn 77')
Western Sydney Wanderers: Jerrad Tyson (gk), Shayne D'Cunha, Daniel Alessi, Nicholas Olsen, Yianni Perkatis, Alusine Fofanah, Jake McGing, Lawrence Hanna, Joshua Barresi, Tahj Minniecon, Kwabena Appiah
Cautions: Barresi 26'
Newcastle Jets: John Solari (gk), Mitchell Finlayson, Connor Chapman, Josh Mitchell, Matthew Bilic, Michael Kantarovski, James Virgili, Mitchell Oxborrow, Kale Bradbery, Radovan Pavicevic, James Brown
Cautions: Oxborrow 80'
Red Card: James Brown 49'