Jets thrash Perth to keep dream alive

A comfortable 4-0 win over Perth Glory on Thursday night has kept the Jets in the mix for a place in the finals.

The Newcastle Jets have claimed a comfortable 4-0 victory over Perth Glory in their final home game of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season on Thursday evening.

Labinot Haliti gave the home side the early advantage with a goal inside the first quarter of an hour, before Kiwi international Jeremy Brockie all but sealed the three points with a second half strike. But the night perhaps belonged to veteran striker Sasho Petrovski, playing in his final match for the Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium, the 35-year-old netted a late brace much to the delight of the 7,286 fans on hand.

The thrashing keeps the Jets’ slim finals hopes alive, propelling the side to 35 competition points and within striking distance of Wellington Phoenix (38 points) ahead of this Sunday’s showdown with local rivals the Central Coast Mariners.

The Jets got off to a flying start when Haliti gave the home side the lead in the 13th minute. After getting on the end of some fine lead-up work by Brockie and Ali Abbas, the Kosovo-born striker lashed home a first-time shot into the bottom corner of Tando Velaphi’s goal.

Moments later and it was Abbas and Ryan Griffiths who linked up to provide recently re-signed youngster Marko Jesic with a clear look at goal. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old, his left-footed effort from 20-yards was straight at Velaphi.

With the momentum well in favour of Newcastle during the opening exchanges, Perth looked to make their mark on the match at the midway point of the first-half. Strikes late in the half from Steven McGarry and Howard Fondyke tested the Jets goal, particularly the latter which produced an amazing diving save out of Ben Kennedy.

The visitors maintained their search for an equaliser after the halftime interval, with Robbie Fowler going close in the 51st minute, only to be denied by the safe hands of Kennedy.

However, the points were essentially Newcastle’s on 55 minutes when Brockie was played clean through on goal by a clever throughball from Jesic. The New Zealander made no mistake when one-on-one with Velaphi, slotting the ball calmly under the advancing ‘keeper.

The biggest cheer of the night was then reserved for fan favourite Petrovski, and the veteran didn’t let his admirers down, scoring twice after entering the frey on the hour mark.

Petrovski converted a penalty in the 68th minute after a Brent Griffiths handball inside the area, before pouncing on a defensive error just sixty seconds later to seal his brace and make the Jets’ last home game of the season a memorable one.

The emphatic victory means that it’s all to play for as Branko Culina’s men head down the F3 this Sunday to take on the in-form Central Coast Mariners.

Match Details:
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Labinot HALITI (13. Sasho PETROVSKI 61′), 16. Jeremy BROCKIE, 18. Marko JESIC, 19. Ali ABBAS (26. James VIRGILI 75′), 23. Ryan GRIFFITHS, 25. Sam GALLAWAY (31. Jacob PEPPER 55′), 28. Mario SIMIC

Unused Substitutes: 40. Matt NASH (gk)

Yellow Cards: Sasho Petrovski 69′

Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2. Josh MITCHELL, 7. Jacob BURNS, 9. Robbie FOWLER, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven MCGARRY, 15. Howard FONDYKE ( 13. Tommy AMPHLETT 64′), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 18. Brent GRIFFITHS, 26. Adam TAGGART ( 11. Branko JELIC 79′)

Unused Substitutes: 20. Alex PEARSON (gk), 24. Josh RISDON

Yellow Cards: Brent Griffiths 55′

Red Cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 4 (Haliti 13′, Brockie 55′, Petrovski 68’pen.,69′)
Perth Glory: 0