An injury time penalty from Craig Goodwin has condemned the Newcastle Jets to defeat against Adelaide United, as the Reds snuck away from McDonald Jones Stadium with an unlikely 2-1 win.
The Jets dominated much of the play but couldn't get the job done against a resolute Adelaide outfit, happy to sit back and defend after gaining an early lead.
The opener came against the run of play, after the Jets had a number of early chances to go ahead, as a Roy O'Donovan header was deflected wide and Jair tested Paul Izzo from close range.
Adelaide found the back of the net in the 38th minute, as a shot from Ben Halloran hit the woodwork and bounced straight into the path of Nikola Mileusnic, who poked home to give the visitors the lead.
A double substitution at half-time, including a goalkeeper change after Glen Moss suffered a deep gash to his right quad, sparked things for Newcastle and the home side pushed on in the second half.
Roy O'Donovan had a goal disallowed in the 67th minute after he was judged to be offside, but there was no stopping his header in the 75th minute which drew the Jets level.
It was a great effort from the Irishman, who was hit with a lovely cross at the back post from substitute, Kaine Sheppard – snaring his second assist in as many weeks.
Ernie Merrick’s side had chance after chance but were unable to convert their dominance in possession onto the score sheet.
Dimi Petratos starred across the 90 minutes and went close to netting a go-ahead goal just beyond the 80th minute – as Sheppard again turned provider – playing him in behind the Adelaide defence to only be denied by Izzo.
The Reds custodian secured Man of the Match honours for a standout performance, with several stops that kept his team in the contest.
It wasn't to be another come-from-behind win for the Jets, after Nigel Boogaard gave away a penalty in the dying stages of the match and Craig Goodwin converted from the spot.
Newcastle are straight back into the action in the New Year, taking on Brisbane Roar at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday 2 January.