Archie Goodwin and Lucas Mauragis have given Newcastle Jets fans something to cheer about with the youngsters steering their side to a 2-0 victory over rivals Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday evening.
The duo were instrumental in the victory, with Goodwin setting up the first goal for Roy O’Donovan before Mauragis fired the Jets’ second past Mark Birighitti just moments later.
With Luka Prso, Ramy Najjarine and Connor O’Toole on international duty with the Olyroos, Coach Craig Deans called on his youth and was repaid with an energetic and influential performance by both Mauragis and Goodwin.
“It’s been in the back of the mind all year, trying to bring in through Blake (Archbold), Archie and Lucas,” Deans said.
“But it’s been a balancing act of them being ready for it and they’ve both obviously had a couple of little niggles throughout the season, so it hasn’t been as simple as putting them in when we wanted to.
“Archie set up the first goal, Lucas scored the second.
“They had some good energy, some good moments. Obviously, still learning the game. They had some hairy moments – both of them.
“But they can go home satisfied with their night’s work.”
Goodwin added an injection of pace to the Jets frontline, causing headaches for the Mariners defence and providing the crucial touch that allowed O’Donovan to score the opener.
While Mauragis, who had a great game defensively, also added another dimension going forward with his bursting runs from deep and high pressure off the ball leading to his first A-league goal.
“He set his own goal up, winning the ball in the midfield and running off that,” Deans said.
“I’m happy for him and Archie.”
With John Koutroumbis and Jordan O’Doherty anchoring the midfield and Angus Thurgate having the license to roam, the Jets looked like a new side.
The F3 derby win secures three much needed points for the Jets who look to claw their way off the bottom of the ladder, but more importantly it instils hope for the fans, that the future of their club is incredibly bright.
It now puts the Jets in a strong position to finish the season on the right note with a game against Perth on Saturday and a postponed match with Melbourne City remaining.
“Hopefully some self-belief back,”
“We talk about it every week that we’re close in every game. It’s just little moments that are catching us out. It’s just trying to break that habit of not winning has been our problem.”