After a wait of almost four months, Nick Fitzgerald’s sensational equaliser & Kosta Petratos’s first goal for the Club has seen the Newcastle Jets come from behind to beat Sydney FC 2-1 at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Tuesday night.
In their first piece of competitive action since the competition paused, the Jets head coach Carl Robinson handed Bernie Ibini his first start in Newcastle colours as the visitors looked to pick up where they left off after a 2-1 victory in their last outing against Melbourne City on March 23rd.
The home side required just one point to wrap up the Premiers’ Plate for the third time in four seasons, but the Jets were after all three points as they looked to keep their finals hopes alive.
The Jets started positively with Ibini looking particularly dangerous, but it was the home side who took the lead in the 25th minute when Anthony Caceres bundled the ball home from close range to open the scoring for the home side against the run of play.
Roy O’Donovan was making his 100th A-League appearance and the Irish marksman went agonisingly close to levelling the scores in the 33rd minute after being slipped in behind by Steven Ugarkovic, but Andrew Redmayne did superbly well to deflect his goalbound effort wide of the post.
Bernie Ibini was the standout performer of the opening stanza and it was only some last-ditch defending by the Sky Blues that saw the home side hold onto the lead going into the halftime break.
The Jets started the second period in a similar fashion and after an early scramble was cleared off the line by Baumjohann, the visitors went even closer in the 52nd minute when O’Donovan beat Redmayne, but not the woodwork as the Irishman oh-so-nearly levelled proceedings.
The visitors were dominating proceedings and soon were rewarded when Nick Fitzgerald produced his second superb strike in as many matches (albeit nearly four months apart) in the 58th minute after more good work from Ibini and Millar down the right.
After Millar’s initial cross was blocked, the fullback retrieved the ball and stood another ball up to Fitzgerald at the back post, and he produced an acrobatic scissor kick that flew past Redmayne into the back of the net to draw the Jets level.
As the Jets pushed for the win, Dimi Petratos was brought into the action in the 65th minute for his 200th appearance in the A-League, but it was his brother Kosta Petratos who would have the final say on proceedings.
Having been brought on 78th minute, Kosta found space on the edge of the box as the time ticked towards stoppage time, and his quick turn and shot found its way past Redmayne as his first senior goal for the club sealed all three points and a fantastic comeback victory for the Jets.
The Jets will now turn their attentions to Friday evening’s #F3Derby against the Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium.