Sydney escape with 2-1 win against Jets

The Newcastle Jets have slumped to their third loss in a row beaten 2-1 by arch rivals Sydney FC in a typically tough derby clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Monday afternoon.

The Newcastle Jets have slumped to their third loss in a row beaten 2-1 by arch rivals Sydney FC in a typically tough derby clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Monday afternoon.

Newcastle dominated the match in front of a season-best crowd of 12,118 but Sydney capitalized on two lapses in concentration from the Jets to take a 2-0 lead into the half-time break.

Jets- coach Branko Culina made a number of changes in the second half with immediate effect as substitute striker Labinot Haliti pulled a goal back in the 65th minute.

But despite the Jets having a plethora of chances on goal in the second stanza they weren-t able to equalise and Sydney escaped with another F3 derby victory.

The loss leaves Newcastle in eighth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder on 25 points while the win lifts Sydney off the bottom of the table and into ninth place on 21 points.

“We weren-t switched on when we went onto the park today,” a disappointed Culina said after the match. “In the end that let us down.”

Newcastle went into the match without match-winning striker Francis Jeffers, who was force to miss the last match of his 10-game guest stint with a groin strain. His place in the starting line-up was taken by new signing Ryan Griffiths who made his debut up front alongside Marko Jesic.

It was the Jets who started better and they went close to opening the scoring in just the fifth minute after good work from Ali Abbas to poach possession inside the Sydney penalty area. The ball was worked out to Jobe Wheelhouse who fired a left footed shot towards goal only to see Sydney goalkeeper Liam Reddy got a glove to the ball and send it into the far post.

Newcastle suffered an unexpected loss in the 12th minute when key defender Ljubo Milicevic hobbled off the field after injuring his ankle. Italian import Marcello Fiorentini came on as a defensive midfielder with skipper Kasey Wehrman dropping back to the central

The Jets continued to apply the pressure but couldn-t convert their dominance in territory and possession into a goal with Fiorentini firing over the bar from long range and Sydney defender Matthew Jurman doing well to extinguish a Jesic raid.

Sydney broke the deadlock against the run of play in the 35th minute from a set-piece. A looping Scott Jamieson corner landed at the feet of Japanese import who volleyed the ball through a crowded penalty area and into the corner of the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Sydney doubled their advantage right on the stroke of half-time when an errant back pass from Wehrman put Dimitri Petratos through on goal. Kennedy did well to come out and smother the ball but it squirted out to Cazarine who gladly slotted the ball into an empty net for the visitors to hold a 2-0 lead at the break.

Culina made two substitutes on the hour mark benching Griffiths and Jesic and bringing on experienced strike pair Sasho Petrovski and Labinot Haliti and changing the formation to a 3-5-2 with Fiorentini in defence and Wehrman and Tarek Elrich into the midfield.

The change had an immediate effect with the Haliti scoring after an enterprising move through the midfield. A Wehrman pass found Ruben Zadkovich in space down the right flank, he took play down the wing before squaring to Haliti who slotted the ball inside the near post to make it 2-1 after 65 minutes.

With the momentum now behind the home side they launched a series of attacking raids on the Sydney goal.

A dangerous Haliti cross saw a Petrovski launch a full-length diving header that crashed off the back post.

Moments later a great incisive run from Zadkovich acreated space for Haliti on the edge of the six-yard box but he shot agonizingly wide of the post.

Newcastle continued to launch a number of enterprising attacking raids in the final 15 minutes with Petrovski, Haliti and Zadkovich again creating chances but they were not able to finish off as Sydney clung on for just their fifth win of the season.

Newcastle Jets 1 Haliti 65-

Sydney FC 2 Moriyasu 35-, Cazarine 45+1-

Crowd 12,118 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.