A-League: Newcastle Jets 3-0 Wellington Phoenix
The A-League’s leading scorer Roy O’Donovan grabbed two goals and helped set up another as Newcastle remained unbeaten with a 3-0 win over Wellington.
The third-placed Jets dominated from the outset on Saturday night at McDonald Jones Stadium and led 2-0 at half-time thanks to O’Donovan’s double.
The Jets’ front line had caused the Phoenix defence nervous moments with their high press and it paid off in the 37th minute when Goran Paracki’s backpass went straight to an unmarked O’Donovan.
The in-form striker’s first shot was blocked by goalkeeper Keegan Smith but he hit his second attempt in off the crossbar.
O’Donovan scored again in injury time when he deflected in Dimi Petratos’ cross at point-blank range for his seventh goal of the season.
— NEWCASTLE JETS FC ✈️ (@NewcastleJetsFC) November 4, 2017
Andrew Nabbout gave Newcastle a stranglehold on 54 minutes after O’Donovan’s back heel and Joey Champness’ pass put him into space to bury his shot.
The result leaves Wellington without a win this season and lifts Newcastle to 11 points from five matches.
“I thought it was a very good all-round performance. We started off putting them under pressure and we kept that up right until the end of the game — I thought it was really our best performance,” Jets coach Ernie Merrick said.
“I know we scored five goals against the Mariners away from home, but I thought our all-round play, defensively and moving forward and getting into the box, was first-class.”
Wellington coach Darije Kalezic was disappointed his players were unable to recover from the mistake that led to the first goal and said Newcastle were the better team from that point on.
“It was a really, really silly goal, and I think we are in the balance up until that moment,” he said.
“Then there was that goal and the players, especially Goran Paracki, drop their heads down and they didn’t play any more in the next minutes and we conceded the second goal.
“Then it was really, really difficult to come back in the game.”