Jets return to form

The Newcastle Jets have revived their Hyundai A-League finals hopes with a resounding 3-1 win over competition hot shots Adelaide United at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

The Newcastle Jets have revived their Hyundai A-League finals hopes with a resounding 3-1 win over competition hot shots Adelaide United at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

The Jets looked more determined from the outset and had two in the bag within the first 15 minutes with Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Marko Jesic getting goals in a dominant first-half performance from the home side.

Jesic picked up his second goal early in the second half thanks to a lovely pass from former England international Francis Jeffers, who starred in the first of his 10-match guest stint for the Jets.

Adelaide eventually got on the scoresheet via an Iain Fyfe header in the 79th minute but it was too little too late as the Newcastle side held on to score an important win in front of a healthy home crowd of 8278.

The win lifts Newcastle off the bottom of the A-League table leaping over North Queensland and Sydney while Adelaide remain in second spot.

Jets coach Branko Culina was delighted with his side’s performance after the match.

“It is a credit to the players, we worked hard on this. If you ask me what is the one main reason there isn’t. There are many little things,” Culina said.

“I always knew we were capable of what our performances indicated…this is more the Newcastle Jets that I know.”

Adelaide coach Rini Coolen admitted that his side’s poor start was the too much to overcome.

“A set piece it is not good to give a goal away like that, but that happens in football and after 15 minutes they had scored two goals so it is not easy to come back into the game,” Coolen said.

“We did much better in the second half but the game was already played in the first 15 minutes, so it was a real bad start. But they deserved to win today.”

The match was Newcastle’s first home appearance in seven weeks and they got the ideal start with a goal in just the fourth minute of the match.

Defensive midfielder Kasey Wehrman fired in a dangerous corner to the edge of the six-yard box where Newcastle defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley leaped above the pack to head home his first ever goal in the A-League.

Newcastle kept up the pressure and were rewarded with a second goal in the 13th minute.

The Adelaide defence failed to clear a Jets corner, the ball came back out Wehrman on the left flank and he lobbed the ball back into the penalty area where Topor-Stanley rose high to chest down the ball for an unmarked Marko Jesic who showed great composure to slide a left-foot shot past Eugene Galekovic and inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.

A shell-shocked Adelaide tried valiantly to get back into the match but for the most of the first half but were held to shooting long-range attempts from outside the area as Newcastle muscled up in defence.

The Jets went close to adding a third goal when Ali Abbas headed Tarek Elrich’s cross narrowly wide of the target in the 35th minute before a clever pass from Ben Kantarovski put Jeffers through for a one-on-one with Galekovic, who did well to smother the Englishman’s shot to send the team’s to the half-time break with Newcastle holding a 2-0 lead.

Adelaide brought on Travis Dodd to start the second half to try to spark a revival but it was the Jets who picked up where they left off in the first half to grab their third with lovely goal orchestrated by Jeffers.

The Englishman took the ball into a mile of space down the left wing before propping and delivering a pin-point through ball to the edge of the area where Jesic slotted his second goal into the top left corner of the net for a 3-0 lead after 52 minutes.

Jeffers earned an early shower when he was replaced on the hour mark by Labinot Haliti with the raucous home crowd of 8278 showing their appreciation for an industrious debut performance.

The Jets continued to run the Reds defence ragged with Wehrman, Haliti and Adam D’Apuzzo pushing good chances wide of the target while Jesic saw his attempt at a hat-trick swallowed up by Galekovic.

Down the other end Adelaide created a few more chances with substitute Iain Ramsey firing into the side net while Sergio van Dijk forced a good save from Ben Kennedy with a nice turn-and-shoot on the edge of the box.

Adelaide eventually pegged one back in the 79th minute when Cassio swung a nice free-kick from 35 yards into the area and defender Iain Fyfe caught the Newcastle defence napping to head home from six yards out.

The goal seemed to awaken Adelaide with the visitors applying all the pressure in the final 10 minutes but the Jets defence held firm to notch up just their second win of the season.

Newcastle Jets 3
Topor-Stanley 5′, Jesic 13′, 52′

Adelaide United 1
Fyfe 79′

Crowd 8278 at EnergyAustralia Stadium