LNTUP

A-League: Newcastle Jets vs Melbourne Victory- Match Report

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Newcastle Jets returned to the top of the A-League table as they put four goals past 10-man Melbourne Victory.

Thursday night’s combustible 4-1 contest brought Victory back to earth after their first win of the season in Perth last Sunday, leaving Kevin Muscat’s men at risk of slipping back out of the top six before the end of the round.

Kosta Barbarouses marked his return from international duty with a fifth-minute screamer, but it wasn’t long before Daniel Georgievski equalised, with Joey Champness then adding to Andrew Nabbout’s brace to seal the result.

But the match review panel will likely only remember Mark Milligan’s headbutt to Georgievski’s chest that earned him a straight red.

“It was such a disappointing night,” Muscat said.

“We started really well, scored a really good goal, and after that it was nowhere near good enough.”

Victory started on the front foot and so quick was the opener that goalkeeper Glen Moss, on his debut, hadn’t even touched the ball for his new club before he was picking it out of his own net.

James Troisi’s ball left Barbarouses with a lot to do, but he caught it on the bounce and powered over Moss’s head.

Ten minutes later Georgievski scored the equaliser with similar flair, taking a ball from Dimi Petratos, dribbling around two defenders and firing into the top corner.

With the score tied, Ernie Merrick’s men would benefit from two unfortunate incidents.

Injury-prone defender Rhys Williams limped off the pitch 20 minutes in and was subbed for Matias Sanchez.

Georgievski shoved into Milligan, earning himself a yellow card.

But as referee Stephen Lucas reached for his pocket the Australia international retaliated, launching himself head first at his former teammate and was given his marching orders for his efforts.

It did not take long for the hosts to exploit their numerical advantage.

Nabbout tapped in a classy Jason Hoffman cross for Victory to take a lead into the break.

Victory reorganised at halftime and the Jets lost some of their intensity — and Hoffman and Georgievski to injuries.

Yet it wasn’t long before a quick Nabbout throw-in caught Thomas well off his line with Champness on hand to slide home his second career goal.


Petratos rattled the crossbar, and then gave Nabbout his second tap-in at the far post. Jets coach Ernie Merrick was delighted with his side’s rebound from the Sydney FC loss.

“It was a good reaction to have,” Merrick said.

“We gave the goal away and that seems to work for us — we give a goal away and then we start playing.”