Angus Thurgate has produced a stunning winner in wild conditions to propel Newcastle to a 2-1 home win over Brisbane on Thursday night and off the bottom of the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder.
Thurgate drilled a shot from just outside the penalty area in the 70th minute to earn Newcastle’s second win of the season, as players battled with driving rain and heavy winds at McDonald Jones Stadium.
It was just the Jets’ third win in their last 17 home league games and the result lifted them three places to ninth, dropping the Roar one spot to tenth.
Speaking on the post-match coverage on Paramount+, former A-Leagues fullbacks Luke Wilkshire and Daniel Georgievski praised Thurgate’s mentality, after he was culpable for giving away a penalty earlier in the match.
“(Thurgate) and (Jordan) O’Doherty are the unsung heroes most of the team,” Wilkshire said.
“Apart from the penalty – which was lazy and sloppy – he was everywhere … then he got his rewards, and he is not known for (his goal scoring).”
Georgievski added: “He was in the shadow of Steven Ugarkovic but he has stepped up (here) .. considering he is only 21 and has the drive to forget what happened to create a man of the match performance – hats off to him.
“He is the future of the Jets.”
The woodwork favoured Newcastle and foiled Brisbane in the first half.
The hosts’ opening goal came in fortuitous circumstances as a 22nd minute shot from Savvas Siatravanis was tipped onto the post by Brisbane goalkeeper Macklin Freke, only for the ball to rebound off the back of the shot stopper’s left hand.
Brisbane missed a glorious opportunity to equalise on 37 minutes when a Jay O’Shea penalty came back off the post and rolled away from goal.
The spot kick was awarded by referee Jonathan Barreiro after the VAR called him over to look at a replay, which showed Thurgate had fouled Nikola Mileusnic.
Brisbane’s equaliser also had a touch of luck about it as their Argentinian halftime substitute Juan Lescano’s 64th-minute shot deflected off Jordan Elsey.
The Jets had already dropped eight points from winning positions this season and they showed increased intent in the six minutes between losing their lead and winning it back.
Siatravanis had a shot saved, and dangerous Brazilian Daniel Penha had another effort blocked, with the Jets also earning a couple of corners
Brisbane didn’t create many chances in the final 20 minutes, though O’Shea headed over the bar in the 85th.
Newcastle had created most of the good first half opportunities with Freke blocking an early close range shot from Oliver Boumal with his legs and then pushing away another attempt from Penha.
Prior to the penalty award Brisbane’s only decent first-half attempt was Corey Brown hit straight at Newcastle goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
Even before the equaliser, the Roar started the second half with great urgency than the home team.
Lescano put a header wide and Mileusnic was just off target with a curling shot.