Jason Hoffman’s 53rd minute goal helped Newcastle Jets secure a 1-0 Hyundai A-League pre-season victory over Central Coast Mariners in Orange on Sunday.Hoffman rose highest to meet substitute Mitch Cooper’s corner shortly after half time, his header nestling in the back of the net to give the Jets a moral boosting win in the Club’s last trial match against a Hyundai A-League opponent before the start of the competition proper in October.
Central Coast enjoyed the better of the play in the first 45 --- twice Newcastle custodian Mark Birighitti was forced into outstanding saves as Mariners’ Portuguese ace Fabio Ferreira probed.
But Scott Miller’s men composed themselves at the interval and managed to produce a far more structured, polished and ultimately successful display in the second stanza.
Indeed, aside from Hoffman’s winning effort eight minutes after the game’s pause the Jets enjoyed numerous chances to put the scoreboard attendant at Wade Park to work.
Cooper struck a shot just wide in the 57th minute of play, before Enver Alivodic’s chip brought the very best out of Central Coast keeper Paul Izzo in the 64th minute.
Radovan Pavicevic nearly got his toe on a cross 15 minutes from time, while David Carney had two efforts saved by Izzo in the final ten minutes of the encounter.
Newcastle Jets Head Coach Scott Miller praised his charges for their efforts in the New South Wales Central West.
“Compliments to the players for their performances today,” Miller said. “After training yesterday morning they spent six hours on a bus to come out for the match, and that’s not an easy thing to do.”
“Definitely Central Coast had the better of the chances in the first half, and we lacked a little bit of confidence and belief in possession.
“But I asked for a reaction at half time and got it. Our ambition was to get into the game by settling as a team and relying on our structure and organisation.
“I am very happy that we’ve kept another clean sheet, and that we managed to see out the game once we took the lead.
“We could have scored a couple more had we been a bit more clinical in the final third,” Miller concluded.
Central Coast Mariners 0
Newcastle Jets 1 (Hoffman 53’)
Venue: Wade Park, Orange, New South Wales
Referee: Matthew Cropper
Newcastle Jets: 1. Mark Birighitti (Gk), 2. Daniel Mullen, 3. Jason Hoffman, 4. Nigel Boogaard (C), 5. Ben Kantarovski (6. Cameron Watson 46'), 7. Enver Alivodic (25. Brandon Lundy 89'), 8. Mateo Poljak, 10. Leonardo (14. Mitch Cooper 46'), 11. Labinot Haliti (17. Radovan Pavicevic 7’), 13. Lee Ki-je, 23. David Carney
Substitutes not used: 20. Ben Kennedy (Gk), 22. Lachlan Jackson
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Paul Izzo (Gk), 2. Storm Roux, 3. Josh Rose (6. Mitch Austin 69’), 4. Jacob Poscoliero (15. Jake Adelson 79’), 7. Fabio Ferreira (19. Josh Bingham 69’), 9. Roy O’Donovan, 10. Anthony Caceres, 11. Nick Fitzgerald, 21. Michael Neill, 22. Jake McGing, 23. Eddy Bosnar (C)
Substitutes not used: 12. Liam Reddy (Gk), 14. Dan Heffernan