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Jets soar past quiet Wanderers

WSWvNEWWestern Sydney failed to keep the pressure on Brisbane Roar at the top of the table, as goals from Kew Jaliens and Adam Taggart saw them lose 2-0 to Newcastle at Pirtek Stadium.

Tony Popovic made two changes to the team that faced Ulsan Hyundai mid-week, with Mateo Poljak and Labinot Haliti replacing Iacopo La Rocca and Brendon Santalab. For Newcastle, Jaliens returned from suspension, while Andrew Hoole and Joel Griffiths started in place of Craig Goodwin and James Virgili, with Taylor Regan and David Carney dropping out of the squad altogether.

The match struggled to spark into life in the early stages, as neither side were able to retain possession in midfield for a prolonged amount of time.

Taggart had the first chance of the game when he fired high from distance in the fifth minute, while Heskey skied a half-volley over the crossbar from reasonably close range.

At the other end, Hersi failed to make the most of a whipped Ono delivery from the left, before the Japanese marquee player sent Bridge through on goal only for Brillante to get back to clear.

Heskey brought a diving save out of Covic with a curling effort, and soon after Newcastle were ahead when an unmarked Jaliens headed in Hoole’s hung cross at the far post.

The Wanderers looked desperately short of ideas in the first half, and a Haliti header which harmlessly looped over the crossbar was all they could muster before the break.

Western Sydney looked to regroup and the hosts started the early stages of the second half with far more urgency, as Haliti linked well with Bridge before his blocked effort went over.

Still, it was the Jets who looked the more likely to score. In the 58th minute, Heskey played Taggart through on goal with a well-weighted ball that caught the Wanderers’ defence napping, and Covic got down extremely well to deny the forward from point-blank range.

But the youngster made no mistake from his next opportunity as he turned inside the box and his low drive deflected past Covic via Spiranovic’s leg to make it 2-0. That goal was doubly important, as it pushed Taggart into a joint lead in the race for the Golden Boot.

It proved to be the last real chance of the game. Two late headers over by Topor-Stanley was as good as it got for the hosts, as they succumbed to their second home defeat in a week.

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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  • britesparke

    A totally lacklustre performance from the Wanderers-no wonder the RBB were quiet even though their silence was in protest for overregulation by the authorities. On that form they would struggle beating my local Under 9′s! Even their normally solid defence was found wanting by the Jets.