Jets giant-killing run continues

The Jets stamped themselves as serious title contenders tonight with an emphatic 2-0 win against A-League heavyweights Gold Coast United at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

LOOK OUT… the Jets are coming.

The Jets stamped themselves as serious title contenders tonight with an emphatic 2-0 win against A-League heavyweights Gold Coast United at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Second half goals from Ali Abbas and Sasho Petrovski secured the win to keep the Jets- giant-killing run alive and extend their unbeaten run to seven matches – the team-s longest streak since the 2005/2006 season.

Abbas- effort in the 76th minute sent the crowd of 8,046 into hysterics after the Jets- faithful endured several achingly close misses throughout the match. It should have been Abbas- second for the night after he was denied a legitimate goal in the 48th minute by the referee, who ruled Abbas-s long range shot – which rebounded off the bottom of the crossbar – didn-t cross the goal-line.

The Jets faced the remaining 20 minutes of the match with ten men after Ljubo Milicevic was sent off for a second red card directly after Abbas- goal in the 78th minute.

But the win was assured in the 81st minute by the veteran Petrovski, who continued his great run of form that has seen him slot home a goal in each of his last four performances.

Petrovski-s opportunist effort saw him pounce on Coast keeper Glen Moss- fumble following a Kasey Wehrman free kick, juggling it a few times with his knee and feet before sending it home.

The win erased bitter memories of the team-s last-minute 1-0 loss to Gold Coast earlier this season but threw up new selection headaches for coach Branko Culina.

A slightly tweaked Jets side saw Culina employ Marcello Fiorentini to cover for injured midfielder Ben Katarovski, while Matthew Nash retained his position in the starting lineup over Ben Kennedy. Nash was outstanding once again and maintained his clean sheet record so far in his first grade career.

But Culina will now be without Milicevic, Wehrman and Jobe Wheelhouse due to suspension, and is already without the services of in-form midfielder Kantarovski, captain Michael Bridges, striker Sean Rooney and New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie.

The signs were good early for the Jets as they launched a blistering attack on the Gold Coast goal. Ruben Zadkovich, who was impressive down the right flank, launched in crosses at will throughout the first half with Ali Abbas unlucky not to net one in the 9th minute.

It was Fiorentini who tried again a minute later, this time the ball flying just over the crossbar.

Undoubtedly the Jets- greatest chance to go up in the first half however came in the 24th minute when Francis Jeffers had consecutive attempts at Gold Coast keeper Moss.

Jeffers- first attempt was courtesy of a slick Marko Jesic through-ball, giving the Englishman almost too much time completely isolated in front of goal as he fired it into Moss- legs.

Second later Jeffers got his chance to make up for the miss, nicely stepping inside a Dino Djulbic challenge but once again failing to get it past Moss- gloves.

In what was a fast, entertaining first half, Newcastle took the lion-s share of shots at goal and it wasn-t until the 69th minute that Gold Coast-s first real shot at goal – from Bruce Djite – was denied by Nash.

The Jets now travel to Wellington for a clash against the Phoenix on Saturday night. They will do so without tenacious midfielder Kasey Wehrman after the 33-year-old picked up his fifth yellow card tonight, earning automatic suspension

NEWCASTLE JETS FC 2 (Ali Abbas 76th minute, Sasho Petrovski 81st minute) bt Gold Coast United 0