Jets stun Sydney FC as Sky Blues’ red card woes continue to haunt them

Check out all the highlights from the Round 23 Isuzu UTE A-League clash between Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC

Newcastle Jets climbed off the foot of the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder on Sunday after defeating Sydney FC 3-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium, in a game where Sky Blues forward Robert Mak was sent off for violent conduct.

The Jets took the lead in the 19th minute of the contest as former Sydney youngster Clayton Taylor skipped inside Sky Blues defender Jack Rodwell before beating Andrew Redmayne at his near post.

Newcastle then made it 2-0 less than 10 minutes later as the lively Reno Piscopo exchanged passes with Daniel Stynes before firing the ball into the roof of the net beyond Redmayne.

The visitors then had a mountain to climb as they were reduced to 10-men in the 37th minute of the contest with Robert Mak sent off for violent conduct after catching Jets defender Philip Cancar with a stray arm – a decision which had both coaches in agreement after the match.

“At the end of the day is it a red? It’s not a red. It’s a bad decision but fortunately for us we got it… but I don’t think that’s a red card.

Newcastle Jets head coach Rob Stanton on the red card decision

He continued: “I think he’s just waved his hand away… if you know Rob Mak, he’s not a dirty player but he gave it. I don’t know why he gave it but he gave it!”

Meanwhile Sydney FC boss Ufuk Talay was equally as critical of the decision when speaking in his post-match press conference.

“Whether it’s a red card or not that’s a different story at the end of the day. The disappointing part is the opposition player (Cancar) doesn’t even get booked.

“He’s the one that initiated the head-to-head at first, he’s the one that pushes him and baits him into that.

“I think Robbie (Mak) isn’t even looking at him when he waves his arm to tell him to go away.

He continued: “There’s obviously a connection but the disappointing part is it’s not even gone to VAR so the fourth official has made the call from the sideline and directed the referee for the red-card.”

Striker Fabio Gomes fired the away side back into the game on the stroke of half time with a well taken finish to make it 2-1.

However a 15th goal of the season from Apostolos Stamatelopoulos in the 60th minute put pay to any Sydney FC comeback to secure the win for Newcastle, ending a nine-game winless run and moving themselves off the foot of the ladder.

As for Sydney, the result leaves them sat in fourth spot on the ladder, five points clear of Melbourne City in seventh and six points behind Melbourne Victory in third.

Chances were hard to come by in the opening stages but the game burst into life in the 19th minute and it was the home fans who were the happier.

Collecting the ball on half way, Stamatelopoulos hurdled a sliding Rhyan Grant before laying the ball off to Taylor who, after committing Jack Rodwell with a clever feint, drilled the ball beyond Andrew Redmayne and into the back of the net against his former club.

The away side hit back almost immediately through Mak however the Slovakian’s effort was ruled out for offside, sparing the blushes of Newcastle keeper Ryan Scott who gave the ball away on the edge of his own box.

The Jets than had a glorious chance to make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute however Stamatelopoulos failed to test Redmayne despite being played through one-on-one while at the other end Rodwell then saw a header cleared off the line.

However the Jets were certainly the livelier of the two sides and doubled their lead in the 28th minute with a sumptuous team move, finished off by Piscopo.

Having initially played the ball down the right to Daniel Stynes, Piscopo was then picked out by his teammate inside the box before cutting across the retreating Luke Brattan and firing high into the roof of the net.

Things then went from bad to worse for Ufuk Talay’s Sydney FC as they were reduced to 10-men in the 37th minute with Mak shown a straight red card for violent conduct.

After an initial confrontation between the pair simmered down, Mak then appeared to wave his arm at Cancar in a dismissive fashion as he walked away from the scene but grazed the chin of the Jets man in the process, with referee Jack Morgan deeming the incident to be violent conduct.

Despite that huge setback the away side finally had something to cheer as they found the back of the net to halve the Jets’ lead on the stroke of half time.

Galloping down Sydney’s right, Fabio quickly exchanged passes with Anthony Caceres inside the box before firing the return pass into the far corner to ensure it was 2-1 at the interval.

Sydney FC came out firing in the second half as Joe Lolley tested Scott in the Jets goal but the home side then extended their lead on the hour mark through their leading scorer.

After Brattan was caught on the ball in midfield, Newcastle broke quickly with Taylor sending Stamatelopoulos through on goal and Golden Boot contender did the rest, dispatching the ball beyond Redmayne and while the offside flag did go up, VAR cleared the goal and the Jets went 3-1 up.

Newcastle would have then be 4-1 to the good in the 67th minute were it not for an astonishing goal line block from substitute Hayden Matthews, who stuck out a long limb to prevent a certain goal for Taylor.

Rhyan Grant almost reduced the deficit to just one in the 87th minute however the defender’s delicate back-heeled flick from a low cross flew past the far post and away to safety.