Jets edge out Victory

The Newcastle Jets have moved into the top four on the National Youth League ladder with an entertaining 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory at Adamstown Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Newcastle Jets have moved into the top four on the National Youth League ladder with an entertaining 2-1 win over the Melbourne Victory at Adamstown Oval on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets dominated proceedings in the first half and took the lead in the 25th minute via midfielder David Talevski-s deflected low drive for the home side to hold a 1-0 lead at half-time.

The Victory came out the hungrier in the second half and deservedly equalised in the 55th minute when Damir Lokvancic headed home a Luke O-Dea cross.

The Victory had the chance to grab the lead in the 77th minute with a David Stirton penalty but Newcastle goalkeeper Jack Duncan pulled off a great diving save and just a few minutes later Jets substitute Steven Veleski scored the winner with a deft volley.

The win puts the Jets on 14 points alongside the third placed Perth Glory but in fourth on for and against while the Victory are in sixth place on 12 points after nine games apiece.

The match began in humid conditions and it was the Jets who started better creating a couple of half-chances.

Chinese import Zhang Shou scuffed his shot from close range when he had worked a nice one-two with Fabian Iacovelli before James Virgili forced a good save from Victory goalkeeper Rani Dowisha after Kyle Ewart had delivered a lovely through ball from the midfield.

The Victory had their first chance in the 23rd minute when Evan Berger got around his man down the left wing and sent in a dangerous looping cross to the back post where James Kalifatidis headed towards the far corner where Jets goalie Jack Duncan performed a strong diving save.

The Jets eventually opened the scoring just a few minutes later.

Virgili sent a dangerous free-kick from the left wing into the penalty area. The Victory defence cleared the ball but only as far as midfielder David Velevski, whose right-footed volley from 25 metres out took a deflection through a crowded box and into the corner of the net.

Unfortunately, the goal scorer was stretchered from the field a just after the half-hour mark when he fell heavily in a tackle injuring his left knee. Striker Gavin Forbes came on Talevski playing in the forward line alongside Shou, with Vigili dropping back into the midfield.

The Victory went within a whisker of equalising in the 33rd minute when Lokvancic fired a vicious shot from 18 yards that thundered off the underside of the crossbar but stayed in the field of play.

Kalifatidis was first to the loose ball but Duncan was able to glove his looping header to maintain Newcastle-s 1-0 lead.

Melbourne went close again right on the stroke of half-time when Berger created an overlap down the left flank for skipper Matthew Kemp, who took the ball into the penalty area before propping and shooting a right-footed shot just past the far post to leave the score 1-0 to the Jets at the break.

The visitors started the second half more desperate with Kalifatidis and Stirton both shooting wide from distance before they levelled the match on the hour mark.

Some enterprising play in the midfield between Kemp and Berger created space for Luke O-Dea to fire in a lovely cross into the six-yard box where an unmarked Lokvancic headed into an open net.

Both sides made a host of changes soon after. The Jets brought on Blake Green for Luke Rimington and midfielder Steven Veleski for Shou leaving Forbes up front in a lone striker-s role.

The Victory substituted Paulo Retre for Kalifatidis and then replaced O-Dea and Nicholas Ansell with Jake Nakic and Stephen Hatzikostas respectively.

The Victory should have taken took the lead from the penalty spot in the 77th minute after defender Jacob Pepper was adjudged to have brought down David Stirton in the box. Stirton stepped up to the mark only to see his low shot well saved Duncan.

A moment later Jets defender Scott Petit cleared a shot off the line after Hatzikostas-s right-footed shot from 15 yards had beaten Duncan.

The Jets regained the lead 10 minutes before full-time albeit against the run of play. A long ball from Mario Simic found Veleski on the edge of the area. His first touch took him into the box and he then cleverly managed to scoop the ball over the advancing Victory keeper Rani Dowisha to give Newcastle a 2-1 lead.

Iacovelli almost put the match beyond doubt on the stroke of full-time when he headed Kyle Ewart-s cross into the box narrowly over the crossbar, while Stirton also headed over in injury time as the Jets held on to record a tight 2-1 win.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Talesvki 25, Veleski 80) Melbourne Victory 1 (Lokvancic 61) @ Adamstown Oval, Newcastle