Winning streak ends in west

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 4-0 by Perth Glory this evening at ME Bank Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 4-0 by Perth Glory this evening at ME Bank Stadium.

First half strikes by Naum Sekulovski and Mile Sterjovski, along with a Jamie Harnwell double, ended the Jets- four game winning streak in what was a difficult Boxing Day clash for the Hunter-based club.

The home side looked to get on top after the dust settled on a tightly contested opening period, with Harnwell making a clean break down the right touchline before firing in a dangerous low cross into the path of strike partner Sterjovski in the 11th minute. The Qantas Socceroo hit a first-time strike that seemed destined for the back of the net, until Jets- goalkeeper Neil Young pulled off a tremendous diving save to keep the scores level.

It wouldn-t take long for the Glory to take the lead though when, in the 19th minute, Sekulovski hit a stinging low drive into the bottom corner of the net direct from a 20-yard free-kick.

That goal would signal the beginning of a purple patch for Perth as they went on to dominate much of the first half.

In a mirror image of the first shot on goal, Sterjovski was released down the left and returned the favour to Harnwell with a superb ball into the path of the big striker. Harnwell made no mistake from close range, tapping home to double Perth-s advantage.

The Jets- best chance of the half then came when Tarek Elrich fired in a delightful ball to Labinot Haliti, who controlled the ball and hit a shot on the turn that fizzed just over Tando Velaphi-s bar.

But matters went from bad to worse for the Jets on 35 minutes when referee Ben Williams gave a penalty to the home side, ruling that Ljubo Milicevic had fouled Sterjovski, although replays suggested the incident may have occurred outside the penalty area. Regardless, Sterjovski stepped up to convert the spot-kick to send the Glory into the break three goals to the good.

Jets Head Coach Branko Culina looked to change things up in the second half by bringing on diminutive duo Kaz Patafta and Ali Abbas to add some spark in attack.

The visitors responded with some excellent flowing football after the interval, and left-back Adam D-Apuzzo nearly pegged a goal back in the 51st minute when he picked the ball up 30-yards out before hitting a thunderous drive which Velaphi was forced to palm over the bar.

However, any hopes of a dramatic comeback were all but dashed midway through the second stanza when Harnwell netted his second, heading home powerfully from a Scott Neville cross from the right flank.

The impressive Jin-Hyung Song was lively throughout and could have been rewarded with a goal for his tireless work when he hit a curling free-kick in the 78th minute, but for a brilliant diving save by recently selected Qantas Socceroo Velaphi who kept the Glory-s 4-nil lead intact.

The Jets will return home to take a break over the New Year period before returning to Hyundai A-League action on Sunday, 10 January when they take on Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium. Tickets for this round 22 clash are available from www.proticket.com.au or by calling (02) 4915 2345.

Match Details:
Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 5. Jamie HARNWELL (13. Scott BULLOCH 83-), 6. Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 12. Scott NEVILLE (Andrija JUKIC 76-), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO (2. James DOWNEY 76-), 17. Todd HAWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI

Unused substitutes: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 20. Neil YOUNG (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO (9. Sasho PETROVSKI 66-), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH (26. Ali ABBAS 46-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 15. Sean ROONEY, 25. Labinot HALITI (22. Kaz PATAFTA 46-)

Unused substitutes: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk)

Yellow cards: Nikolai Topor-Stanley 45-, Ljubo Milicevic 56-

Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 4 (Sekulovski 19-, Harnwell 24-/69-, Sterjovski 36-(pen),
Newcastle Jets: 0
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 9,418