NPL: Bears too strong at Weston


Looking to make it four games undefeated, the young Jets travelled to Weston’s Rockwell Automation Park on Sunday afternoon.

With both sides level on points going into the fixture, a win was crucial to the early-season ambitions of both Weston and the Jets.

Ultimately, two Weston goals inside the opening eight minutes from the home side proved a bridge too far for the young Jets to cross and they fell to their first defeat of the NPL Northern NSW season.

The home side took that early lead through a Chris Hurley special from the corner – the Bears midfielder curling one into the far side of the net to claim a special goal.

It took just two minutes for Weston to double that advantage, and strike a killer one-two punch to the visiting Jets.

The goal came through Dutch striker, Jason Tijen-Fooh who was the beneficiary of a nice ball over the top which he took in his stride and slid past Noah James at the near post.

A compact defence meant there wasn’t much room to move in the early stages, and Newcastle didn’t create anything clear-cut inside the penalty area save for runs from Maki Petratos and Jack Simmons.

There were plenty of stiff challenges and loud appeals to go up over the remainder of the half, as the Jets threw themselves at the task of getting back into the match while Weston looked to hold their lead.

After a half-time rev-up from Labi Haliti, the Jets came out looking to play forward and get themselves back in the game.

Their best chance early on in the half came on the hour mark as Maki Petratos broke through the lines following a superb piece of build-up play, but he couldn’t find the target with his shot.

However, it was the young number nine who played a key part in the goal which got the Jets right back amongst it with 20 minutes remaining.

He swung in a corner which was met by the head of Pat Langlois, who fired home for his first goal of the season to make it 2-1.

Noah James pulled off an incredible save with 80 minutes gone to deny former Jet, Kaleb Cox a goal from a free kick on the edge of the area but it would soon prove in vain.

From the ensuing corner, Liam Wilson found himself free on the back post and charged in to tap home a ball which was adjudged to have crossed the line – Weston’s two-goal lead was restored, but that wasn’t quite all she wrote.

Deep into injury time, Maki Petratos found himself on the edge of the area with the ball at his feet. With what was almost the last kick of the game, he fired one home to reduce the lead to one goal but ultimately it was too little, too late. 

Newcastle Jets 2 (Langlois 71’, Petratos 90+5′) def. by Weston Bears 3 (Hurley 6’, Tijen-Fooh 8’, Wilson 81’)
Sunday 14 April, 2.30pm at Rockwell Automation Park