A 10-man Adelaide United outfit has defeated the Newcastle Jets 2-1 in their Week 17 National Youth League clash at Adamstown Oval.
A 10-man Adelaide United outfit has defeated the Newcastle Jets 2-1 in their Week 17 National Youth League clash at Adamstown Oval on Saturday evening.
The Reds went ahead in the 10th minute with a set-piece goal to midfielder Dion Kirk before being reduced to 10 men midway through the first half when Jacob Melling collected two yellow cards in as many minutes.
The Jets dominated possession and territory from that point on but were unable to crack the Reds defence which was well marshalled by former international Jon McKain.
Adelaide went 2-0 ahead in the 80th minute when Kirk picked up his second from an amazing 35-metre free kick before Labinot Haliti gave the home side some hope with a goal three minutes from time.
The Jets attacked in earnest to the final whistle but the Reds clung on to score a gutsy win that moves them alongside the Jets in seventh place on the NYL ladder on 20 points.
The match started in fine but blustry conditions and the visitors had the first chance in the ninth minute when Kirk swung a free-kick into the box where Liam Wooding's header was tipped over the crossbar by Jets goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
The Reds found the net from the ensuing corner when Kirk met the cross with a header just inside the back post to turn the ball into the corner of the net for a 1-0 lead after just 10 minutes.
The Jets looked to hit back when James Virgili used his pace to sprint into space down the right wing before sending in a dangerous cross for Haliti at the near post but Reds custodian John Hall bravely dived at the feet of the Jets striker to claim the ball.
The Reds looked like they might double their advantage when Wooding played in Evan Kostopoulos but Jets defender Connor Chapman pulled off a great tackle just as the Adelaide striker was about to shoot from point-blank range.
The match was turned on its head midway through the first half when the Reds were reduced to 10 men after Melling was shown two yellow cards for tackles from behind in the 26th and 28th minute.
Shortly after the Jets took advantage of a the re-assembled Reds formation when Virgili ran onto a through ball and fired a cross into the box but Haliti's header floated just wide of the far post.
The home side continued to press but the Reds defended gamely to go to half-time holding a 1-0 lead.
Reds coach Ange Costanzo brought on Awer Mabil for Ricardo DeSilva and the youngster pace provided a few headaches for the Jets defence as the undermanned visiting outfit were reduced to attacking on the counter.
Holding a numerical advantage the home side dominated possesion and territory and continued to threaten down the wings with Virgili sending in a number of dangerous crosses but Haliti just couldn't time his run as the Reds defence scrambled.
Both sides made a number of changes around the hour mark with the Reds bringing on Allan Welsh and Nicholas Mavromatis for Shaun Harvey and Wooding while the Jets brought on Kyle Bradbery, Kyle Ewart and Anthony Ragusa for David Talevski, Andrew Hoole and Scott Petit respectively.
As the Reds continued to hold on Jets coach Arthur Papas switched formation to a 3-4-2-1 with Chapman pushing into the midfield which gave the home side more penetration through the middle of the park but they were unable to create any firm goal-scoring opportunities.
The Jets had a great chance to equalise in the 70th minute when left winger Kale Bradbery stepped inside Welsh and fired a right footed shot from the edge of the area that Hall could only Parry away. The ball looped up to Haliti in front of goal but somehow his header ballooned over the crossbar from six yards out.
The visitors looked to have sealed the match with a goal against the run of play when Kirk grabbed his second with a freakish free-kick from 35 metres out that curled inside the top corner of the net just inside the near post for a 2-0 lead with just 10 minutes left to play.
The Jets kept the game alive when Haliti found his range to tap in a Bradbery cross at the near post in the 87th minute to make it 2-1.
The Jets poured forward in the final minutes and went within inches of grabbing an equaliser.
Virgili fired over from an acute angle after a weaving run into the box in injury time before Marko Jesic rattled the crossbar with a free-kick from 22 metres out in what was to be the last play of the game as Adelaide held on for a gutsy win.
Newcastle Jets 1 Haliti 87'
Adelaide United 2 Kirk 10', 80'