An absolute rocket from Nikolai Topor-Stanley & Roy O’Donovan's second goal in as many games has steered the Newcastle Jets to a 2-1 victory over Perth Glory in their Round 21 clash on Saturday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Looking to extend their four-game unbeaten run, Carl Robinson named an unchanged lineup, with Bernie Ibini taking a spot on the substitute’s bench as the Jets searched for their first win under their new manager.
The visitors handed former Jets favourite Tarek Elrich his first start for the club, and the popular fullback was inches away from opening the scoring in the 9th minute when his long-range curler rebounded back off the crossbar, but it was a current fan favourite who opened the scoring minutes later with a missile that had to be seen to be believed.
After Steven Ugarkovic’s shot was blocked by the Perth defence, the ball fell to Nikolai Topor-Stanley, some 35 yards from goal, and the veteran defender had no hesitation in unleashing an unstoppable left-foot rocket that flew into the top corner to put the Jets in the lead after 12 minutes.
Perth were unbeaten in 10 games, and continued to test the Jets defence and when Joel Chianese’s cross hit the arm of a sliding Nigel Boogaard, VAR intervened and awarded the visitors a penalty. Neil Kilkenny stepped up and made no mistake from the penalty spot to level the scores after 26 minutes.
The action flowed from end to end, but neither side could take the lead as the sides went into the halftime break locked at one goal apiece, and the game followed a similar pattern in the second half as both sides searched for the winning goal.
Robinson made a double change on the hour mark and a vocal crowd of 7,420 welcomed players Ibini and Hoolahan as his side pushed on to secure the three points.
When a pinpoint cross from Dimi Petratos found O’Donovan at the back post in the 64th minute, the Irishmen was unable to keep his header down, but on 74 minutes he made no mistake to put the home side back in front.
Bobby Burns whipped a delightful cross into the area from the left, and when the ball fell to O’Donovan after a slight knick off Ibini, he made no mistake in putting the home side back in the lead.
Perth threw numbers forward as they desperately searched for an equaliser, and Lewis Italiano was called upon to make a smart stop to deny Fornaroli in the 91st minute, but the Jets backline held firm and enjoyed their first win under Carl Robinson as they extended their unbeaten run to five games.
The Jets will now have the week off as they face the bye, before heading to Coopers Stadium to face Adelaide United in Round 23.