A first-half header to Roy O’Donovan has steered the Newcastle Jets to a 1-0 victory over Western United on Sunday evening at McDonald Jones Stadium in their final home fixture of the season.
After leaving the F3 Derby with a hamstring complaint, Matt Millar failed a late fitness test and was replaced in the starting lineup by Jason Hoffman in the only change to our starting side, whilst Abdiel Arroyo took his spot amongst the substitutes.
The home side started the match in assertive fashion, dominating possession and almost taking the lead when Roy O’Donovan was played through on goal by Bernie Ibini. Some desperate defending from Andrew Durante denied the Irishman the chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute.
The Jets continued with their positive style of football and Irish marksman O’Donovan deservedly opened the scoring in the 29th minute after he got onto the end of a brilliant cross from Jason Hoffman to glance his header past Filip Kurto in the Western United goal.
On the stroke of halftime, the Jets and O’Donovan almost doubled their tally when the striker’s effort from the edge of the area beat Kurto but unfortunately clipped the outside of the post in the 45th minute as the home side took a one-goal advantage into the sheds.
After providing the opener, Hoffman went agonisingly close to adding his name to the scoresheet in the 48th minute when his head onto a pinpoint cross from Johnny Koutroumbis, but his powerful header sailed just over the bar.
As Western United searched for the equaliser, the game opened up and both sides had players go into the book as referee Alex King produced cards for Nigel Boogaard & Steven Ugarkovic.
It was a proud moment for the Petratos family in the 82nd minute as brothers Kosta & Maki Petratos joined Dimi on the pitch for the first time at senior level, and in the fifth minute of stoppage time, the three almost combined for the perfect goal.
After Dimi found Maki in the Western United box, the youngest sibling played a neat one-two with Kosta before his near post effort was incredibly denied by the fingertips of Kurto.
The home side held on to secure all three points in their final home outing for a prolonged 2019/20 season, and sent the parochial crowd of 2,507 home happy with a well-deserved victory.
The Jets will now prepare for their final match of the season where they will travel down to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium to take on Wellington Phoenix on Thursday 13 August.