The Newcastle Jets were defeated 1-nil by Sydney FC at Adamstown Oval on Friday evening.
A late goal to Jordan Figon has seen Sydney move into the top four of the National Youth League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at Adamstown Oval on Friday evening.
Several A-League stars appeared in the match with the Jets fielding Michael Bridges and Marko Jesic while Sydney had Scott Jamieson in their line-up but it was good defensive work particularly from FC goalkeeper Ryan Norval that saw the sides locked at 0-0 at half-time.
Newcastle looked to be getting on top in the second half but a well-taken corner from Sydney six minutes from full-time handed the visitors all three points.
The win sees Sydney move alongside Newcastle and Brisbane on 14 points with the rest of the round left to play.
The week 9 fixture started at a frantic pace with both sides applying a high pressing game and the ball moving quickly from one end to the other.
The visitors had the first chance on goal when striker Joel Chianese chased a good ball down the right wing. He crossed into the box where Joe Gibbs met the ball on the fly and directed a low shot towards the far corner only to see his shot cleared off the line by Jets defender David Talevski.
The Jets went close just two minutes later when a good ball from Bridges put James Virgili into the clear. The speedy winger took the ball towards the byline before sending a dangerous cross that found Jesic arriving at pace but he skewed his first-time volley well wide of the mark.
The Jets endured a few nervous moments around the 20-minute mark when Chianese pinched the ball and set off for goal only to be dispossessed just as he was about to shoot just 10 yards out from goal by defender David Vrankovic.
Bridges unleased his first full-blooded shot on goal in the 28th minute after he pounced on a loose ball and took it to the edge of the area before sending his left-footed strike just wide of the far post.
The former England Under 21 international showed he still has plenty of skills when he used some fancy footwork to round centre-back Tomislav Mijic only for Mijic to pull the wily veteran down from behind which earned the Sydney FC defender the first yellow card of the evening.
The game continued to flow freely and Sydney-s Nathan Sherlock spooned a shot over the crossbar from a dangerous swinging corner while Newcastle went closest to opening the scoring when Jesic put Kale Bradbery through on goal but he saw his low shot nicely saved by Ryan Norval as the teams went to half-time locked at 0-0.
The second half continued with the breakneck pace. Sydney skipper Jared Lum had rattled the crossbar with a vicious shot from the edge of the area in the 50th minute while Norval saved a certain goal with a reflex save after a well-directed header from Vrankovic following a Jets corner.
Both sides made a host of changes on the hour mark. Bridges was replaced by Luke Remington, Kyle Ewart came on for Andrew Hoole and Bradbery made way for Louis Bozanic. For Sydney, Hassan Daramy, Jordan Figon and Daniel Petkovski came on for Jason Madonis, Joel Chianese and Scott Jamieson respectively.
The Jets started to control the match in the middle period of the second half controlling the midfield and taking play forward without being able to capitalise in the final third, while down the other end Lum was still causing problems with his pace and intuitive runs from the midfield.
It was one such run from Lum that led to the opening goal in the 84th minute. He burst through the middle of the park and took play into the box where the Jets defence put the ball behind for a corner.
Lum took the set piece and delivered a pin-point swinging cross that saw towering substitute Figon rise above the pack and nod a header inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.
The Jets almost hit back immediately when Virgili crossed into the box where Remington headed towards goal. Norval did well to parry the shot and then showed great courage to smother a point-blank shot from Jesic who pounced on the loose ball as Sydney hung on for a hard-fought victory.
Newcastle Jets 0 Sydney FC 1 (Figon 84m)