Jets defeat NBN select


Newcastle Jets have secured a 3 – 0 win over an NBN State League select side at Darling Street Oval on Saturday.

Newcastle Jets have secured a 3 – 0 win over an NBN State League select side at Darling Street Oval on Saturday.

The match is an annual event where the best players of the NBN State League play against the Jets as part of their pre-season preparations and a chance for Newcastle-s community to come together.

They provided a stern test for the Jets and it took the A-League side 70 minutes to break down the State League defence as they scored three late goals to finish on top in an otherwise close encounter.

The NBN select side started strongly and attacked on the counter as the Jets handed over possession cheaply on a few occasions; Joel Wood found the back of the net early after he headed home a Peter Haynes cross but was called back for offside.

The Jets replied and tried their luck from distance as Ruben Zadkovich forced a nice save from Brad Swancott in the NBN select goal from 25 yards out.

There were few clear cut opportunities created in the opening forty five minutes with NBN select creating a few on the counter and the Jets hitting shots from distance; but both sides went into the break at 0 – 0.

The Jets made six changes during the half time break and NBN select were to make five changes shortly after as two of those replacements got their name on the score sheet later on.

It was NBN select who almost took the lead just two minutes after the break when Ben Kennedy denied Peter Haynes at the near post for his first bit of action since replacing Matt Nash at the half time break.

Kasey Wehrman also came on for the second 45 minutes and hit the cross bar with a well timed shot from 30 yards early on.

Jacob Pepper made an immediate impact and his perseverance paid off on 75 minutes when he deflected an NBN defensive clearance past Chris Bowling to open the scoring.

Chris Payne added a second moments later after picking up a mistimed pass to place his shot past Bowling from his one on one opportunity.

The Jets saved their best goal till last with the first two goals coming out of nothing, when Ruben Zadkovich hit an absolute screamer from 30 metres out.

Picking up possession just inside his own half, Zadkovich advanced to hit his shot with power that gave the NBN select keeper little chance of stopping it as it found the top corner.

NBN select almost snatched a late goal when Chris Berlin made progress down the left and sent a dangerous ball across goal in the 90th minute.

Newcastle was dominant for the final twenty minutes as they attacked with pace down the flanks and moved forward a lot more freely.

Nikoli Topor-Stanley had a fantastic game in the heart of the Jets defence with Tiago Calvano missing due to a throat infection; he again showed his strength in the air and pace at the back.

Ryan Griffiths was also missing due to his hamstring strain suffered against Sydney FC last week in an otherwise full strength Jets line up.

James Virgili once again showed his pace out wide after coming on with another good performance.

NBN select coach Damien Smith said, “All Branko Cullina wanted was a competitive game, and I think they got that.

“I was very pleased with their effort, we only had four sessions and played a different shape to what they are used to.”

A special thank you to the Hamilton Olympic staff who hosted the match and all proceeds taken upon entry were donated to Hamilton South Public School-s special education learning facilities.A