Newcastle Jets rounded out their Hyundai A-League 2015/16 pre-season camp in Melbourne with a narrow 1-0 victory over PlayStation 4 National Premier League Victoria table-toppers Bentleigh Greens on Wednesday evening.
Newcastle’s Croatian midfield maestro Mateo Poljak claimed the only goal of the game shortly before half-time when he converted from the penalty spot after young forward Braedyn Crowley was ruled to have been brought down in the box by Bentleigh’s Steven Topalovic.
John Anastasiadis’ well-oiled Bentleigh outfit proved to be tough competitors at their home ground of Kingston Heath Soccer Complex, though the Jets also enjoyed impressive moments in attack.
Lee Ki-je struck the crossbar from range 17 minutes in, and also forced a fine save from the Greens’ goalkeeper Ryan Scott from another set piece just before the hour mark.
Meanwhile, Enver Alivodic and second half substitute David Carney provided strong moments of attacking enterprise after the interval, as did Crowley who went close to doubling Newcastle’s advantage shortly before the full-time whistle.
Andy Brennan also featured late in the game, while youth teamer Antonee Burke was afforded an opportunity in midfield mid-way through the second period when he replaced goal-getter Poljak.
Bentleigh Greens 0
Newcastle Jets 1 (Poljak 42’ [pen])
Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
Newcastle Jets starting XI: Ben KENNEDY (Gk), LEE Ki-je, Nigel BOOGAARD, Daniel MULLEN, Jason HOFFMAN, Mateo POLJAK, Ben KANTAROVSKI, Enver ALIVODIC, Brandon LUNDY, Labinot HALITI, Braedyn CROWLEY
Substitutes used in second half: Antonee BURKE, Themba MUATA-MARLOW, Lachlan JACKSON, Cameron WATSON, David CARNEY, Radovan PAVICEVIC, Andy BRENNAN
Substitutes not used: Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk)