A 90th minute winner from Kieran Hayes has secured an important three points for the Newcastle Jets Youth in the Northern NSW Premier League on Sunday over Valentine Phoenix.
After trailing for most of the match, the Jets got out of jail with three goals in 25 minutes – taking themselves to a share of second spot on the ladder.
Bolstered by the inclusion of Pat Langlois and Angus Thurgate from the first team, Labi Haliti also started Jack Simmons, Matt Barkho and the in-form Maki Petratos.
The rescheduled Round 4 fixture played out in drizzly conditions, with the hosts going ahead early through Bailey Garland – his first time strike from the top of the area wrong-footing Noah James, making it’s way into the bottom corner.
Despite the Phoenix getting off to a flyer, the Jets had the better of the opening minutes as they dominated both territory and possession.
Unfortunately, they had little to show for their good play as the Valentine defence scrambled effectively to halt the Jets front three.
That continued for the remainder of the half as the Jets showcased some slick build up play in the final third, only to be let down in front of goal.
After the break the Phoenix doubled their lead as Garland grabbed a brace, making a darting run from the left flank and finishing strongly from just inside the penalty area.
Haliti rang the changes midway through the second stanza; as Simmons, Barkho and Curran made way for Smith, Hayes and Gabriel.
Shortly after Petratos scored his fifth of the season, following a driving run through midfield and a quick one-two in the penalty area before a clinical finish past Perry Budden.
It was the start of a spirited fight back from the visitors as Ryan Goodhew took advantage of a deflection off the crossbar, reacting first with a volleyed effort to make it 2-2.
Continuing to search for the go ahead goal, the Jets would find an unlikely winner after Maki Petratos floated a ball to the back post for Kieran Hayes to finish with a volley – sealing the win in injury time.
The Jets will take on the Rosebuds next Sunday afternoon at Adamstown Oval.