NPL: Ten-man Olympic hold out against young Jets

A young Jets side fell short at Hamilton on Saturday afternoon, going down to a ten-man Olympic outfit.

The side were without a trio of key players due to Hyundai A-League commitments – Angus Thurgate, Jack Simmons, and Pat Langlois.

It was the resilience of Hamilton which earned the afternoon’s home side the three points though, standing firm following a red card midway through the second half to maintain the lead and take all three points.

Newcastle started solidly in perfect conditions in the early afternoon, with Matt Barkho and Maki Petratos in particular in the midst of the Jets movements going forward.

They both had lashes from outside the area in the opening 20 minutes but weren’t able to hit the target.

Olympic grew into their own, and shortly after a double-chance almost saw them open the scoring – a ball was just too high for the head of Scott Pettit while Rhys Cooper’s outside-of-the-foot shot was wide.

Another Hamilton double-chance shortly after forced a fantastic double-save from Noah James.

Jed Hornery, through on goal, couldn’t beat James before the bounce fell kindly for the Hamilton attacker – but again, the Jets keeper was up to the challenge.

On the half-hour mark, Hamilton took the lead via a well-directed header at the near post from Jed Hornery.

Minutes later, Kieran Hayes had a chance inside the box after a cut-back from Maki Petratos but his shot was tame and saved easily by Tyler Warren.

Joey O’Connor went closest for the Jets in the first half with a stinging effort from outside the area, however a horizontal Tyler Warren tipped it over to deny the Jets an equaliser.

Labi Haliti was forced into a change just minutes into the second half, with Joey O’Connor stretchered off and replaced by Ryan Goodhew.

Shortly after, Hamilton had their second. Rhys Cooper made and finished the goal with a nice run up the left-hand side, before putting the ball in and floating across himself, finishing nicely into the top corner to make it 2-0.

In the 67th minute, the scales tipped in favour of the Jets after Hamilton goalkeeper, Tyler Warren was sent from the pitch after handling the ball outside the area.

The man advantage didn’t create the gluttony of clear-cut chances which the Jets would have hoped for, with Hamilton defending resolutely for the final 25 minutes.

Two defeats on the bounce see the Jets Youth slide down to seventh on the NPL Northern NSW ladder, and will face another stern challenge next weekend against Lambton Jaffas.