When the history books are written in the years to come, Saturday afternoon’s clash with the Sky Blues will go down as a watershed day.
It was the largest home crowd for the Jets since 2013, as 18,156 fans walked through the gates at McDonal Jones Stadium, and for the first time since 2012 the Jets defeated Sydney FC.
And didn’t have it all their own way.
After a stunning flyover from three F/A-18s from the RAAF Base at Williamtown, the match roared to life in the tenth minute when Jets striker Roy O’Donovan and Sydney defender Jordy Buijs came together.
Buijs stayed down after the collision, and after consulting the VAR, on-field referee Chris Beath brandished a red card and sent the Irishman on his way.
After the send-off the atmosphere around the stadium lifted to another level, as Sydney looked to make use of their one-man advantage.
Sydney’s Polish midfielder, Adrian Mierzejewski went within a coat of paint of breaking the deadlock in the 28th minute when he struck his wide free-kick against the apex.
The Sky Blues continued to probe for the go-ahead goal, but against the run of play the Jets were awarded a penalty when Nikolai Topor-Stanley was felled in the box, by none other than Jordy Buijs.
Dimi Petratos stepped up and caressed the penalty into the bottom left corner to put the home side into an incredible lead.
The Jets took their slender lead to the sheds, however when the sides returned it was Sydney who found the equaliser they craved.
Buijs curled in a perfect cross from the right edge, which Bobo neatly headed home with a glancing effort.
To the neutrals it seemed the Sydney juggernaut may role on once more, with a man advantage as they clawed their way back to parity.
But, this Newcastle side wasn’t giving up the fight.
Just minutes later Andrew Nabbout produced another world-class strike, this time though he was thirty metres from goal, as he blazed a low, long-range missile which arrowed into the bottom right corner.
Sydney keeper Andrew Redmayne could only dive and watch as the ball crashed into the back of the net.
The Jets weren’t content with two though.
In the 75th minute Dimi Petratos almost sealed the match, as he broke free just inside the attacking half, turned his man inside and out, and then curled a left-footed strike into the post.
It was a case of so close for Newcastle, as Sydney surged for another equaliser.
Sky Blues defender Alex Wilkinson put a late header over the bar, and Daniel Georgievski incredibly cleared a goal-bound strike off the line as the visitors closed in.
However, it was Newcastle’s afternoon in front of 18,156 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium as they closed out a famous victory.
What the Coach Said:
“[We won the game] defensively. I changed the structure a little bit and I thought Wayne Brown did a great job in the first half, but I had to change the structure [by bringing Kantarovski on at half-time] and that worked even better in the second half.”
“I thought we were strong in the second half. The longer the game went, we looked like we were going to score another goal.”
11’ | 0 – 0 | VAR has interjected and Roy O’Donovan has been shown a red card #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
28’ | 0 – 0 | Close call there as a wide free kick from Adrian Mierzejewski hits the crossbar! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
41’ | 0 – 0 | PENALTY! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
41’ | 0 – 0 | Topor-Stanley is pushed in the back by Buijs to earn a chance from the spot for Petratos #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
42’ | 1 – 0 | GOAL! Petratos! He makes no mistake there as we take the lead! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
52’ | 1 – 1 | Sydney equalise through Bobo #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
56’ | 2 – 1 | GOAL! Nabbout! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
56’ | 2 – 1 | After jinking passed a Sydney defender, Nabbout took a touch, set himself and delivered a stunning strike into the bottom corner from 30-yards #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
75’ | 2 – 1 | CHANCE! Dimi hits the upright! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
78’ | 2 – 1 | SAVE! Jack Duncan with a great save from the wide free-kick! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
80’ | 2 – 1 | Georgievski! Puts his body on the line at the face of goal to keep us in the lead. What an effort! #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
81’ | 2 – 1 | The skipper is down receiving treatment on an injured knee after falling awkwardly #RAAFround #NEWvSYD
83’ | 2 – 1 | A massive thank you to the 18,156 fans who made their way to @MJStadium this afternoon! #NEWvSYD
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Wayne BROWN, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 27.Riley McGREE 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 16.Nick COWBURN, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS, 20.Glen MOSS (gk)
Subs Not Used: 16. Nick COWBURN, 20. Glen MOSS (gk)
Yellow Cards: 3.Jason HOFFMAN (67’), 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (90+5’)
Red Cards: 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (14’)
Goals: 7.Dimi PETRATOS (43’), 15.Andrew NABBOUT (56’)
Sydney FC: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 9.BOBO, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13. Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 26.Luke WILKSHIRE
Subs: 2. Aaron CALVER, 8. Paulo RETRE, 12.Fabio FERREIRA, 18.Matt SIMON, 20.Aleksander CISAK (gk),
Subs Not Used: 2. Aaron CALVER, 8. Paulo RETRE, 20. Aleksander CISAK (gk)
Yellow Cards: 13.Brandon O’NEILL (21’), 10.Milos NINKOVIC (40’), 14.Alex BROSQUE (42’)
Goals: BOBO (52’)