Jets smash Phoenix in first ALM win

Arthur Papas has claimed his first win as Newcastle coach after a double from Beka Mikeltadze helped the Jets on their way to a resounding 4-0 A-League Men victory over the Wellington Phoenix on Friday night.

The Jets coach also enjoyed his first clean sheet of the season with his defence, which had conceded two goals in all three previous games this season, keeping the Phoenix frontline in check at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Mikeltadze, whose ability to dictate play and drop deep caused all sorts of problems for the Phoenix, scored either side of the break with two finishes from close range.

Dylan Murnane added a third for the hosts after some intricate work in the box from Brazilian import Daniel Penha in the 69th minute, before the latter completed the rout late on.

“It was more of a complete performance from start to finish,” Papas said.

“I feel happy for the players because they’ve been working hard and persevering.

“Their belief has been consistent and they put on a performance at home which is important.

“I want them to enjoy that performance and understand there is no ceiling to what they can do.

“I thought we defended really well, we know we can score goals and we spoke about being more ruthless and defended as a team.”

Newcastle’s Valentino Yuel was a menace down the left in the early stages but it was down the right through Olivier Boumal where the home side got the breakthrough.

Boumal moved towards the byline and with the Phoenix defence focused on the Cameroonian, Mikeltadze was able to drop off.

Boumal cut the ball back to the Georgian international who steered his effort home through a crowded goalmouth.

Newcastle nearly made it two before halftime when Penha and then later on Yuel were unable to convert. 

The Jets picked up where they left off after the break with Jordan Elsey glancing a header wide of the post before Mikeltadze added his second less than a minute later.

Newcastle were not done yet, and after he fired a 30-yard rocket onto the crossbar, Penha weaved his way through a sea of Phoenix defenders to play in Murnane, who coolly finished for his first A-League goal.

Wellington had no response to the home side’s dominance and Ufuk Talay’s side were unresponsive to his instructions from the touchline as Penha notched Newcastle’s fourth in the 80th minute.

“I think in my time at Wellington Phoenix we haven’t played a bad game like this,” Talay said.

“We got the result we deserved tonight. We were second best to everything and we weren’t good with or without the ball.

“I don’t think we dealt with pressure well and tonight was one of those nights we didn’t win our one on one battles.”