Newcastle Jets’ season is still alive after they put four past a hapless Perth Glory tonight.
Labinot Haliti opened the scoring in the 13th minute with a nice finish before Jeremy Brockie, who had a strong hand in the first goal, made it 2-0 ten minutes after half-time with a classy finish of his own.
Sasho Petrovski, playing his last home match for the Jets, came in just after the hour-mark to score twice – once from the penalty spot – to make it 4-0 and keep his side’s finals hopes alive.
It was Newcastle’s second win in their past ten matches as the Glory were consigned to a fifth-straight defeat to end their horror season in poor fashion.
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Yellow cards: NJ - Sasho Petrovski 68’
PG - Brent Griffiths 55’
The Jets had to record maximum points tonight to keep their finals chances alive and got a great opportunity inside the opening six minutes when Labinot Haliti was played on-side by Marko Jesic but the former made a meal of it from close range, attempting a header when he maybe should have chosen something else.
Branko Culina had certainly deployed an attacking line-up and it worked early when Haliti opened the scoring in the 13th minute.
GOAL Ali Abbas played a lovely ball to the top of the area where Jeremy Brockie was on hand to control beautifully with his chest into the path of Haliti who struck successfully from the edge of the box, hitting the left-hand goalpost and in to make it 1-0.
The home side had another good chance when Jesic fired goalward in the 21st minute but Glory keeper Tando Velaphi, playing his last game for the club, was up to the task this time as his side were being thoroughly outplayed.
Perth did manage to get themselves into the contest around the half-hour mark when Howard Fondyke hit a sweet volley which was headed for the top left corner before Ben Kennedy intervened, making a crucial save with a diving right hand and after that it was much better from Ian Ferguson’s men who were able to wrestle back control after a dismal start.
The match stopped to a crawl as the half progressed with both sides devoid of options as referee Matthew Breeze blew the whistle for half-time.
Newcastle should have gone two ahead five minutes into the second half when Ryan Griffiths’ shot fell perfectly for an advancing Haliti who hammered goalward with his left but Velaphi came up with a stellar save to keep his side in the contest.
GOAL The 55th minute did, however, see the Jets skip further ahead when Jesic played Brockie in and the New Zealand international did the rest, first beating off Scott Neville with a lovely first touch, before angling a precision shot across Velaphi – a class finish – to make it 2-0.
Glory youngster Adam Taggart had the perfect chance to pull one back for his side when Steve McGarry found him with a pinpoint delivery but his header from close range missed the target when it really should have hit the back of the net in what was a huge let off for Culina and his charges.
Just after the hour-mark, one of the A-League’s all-time leading scorers Sasho Petrovski was subbed on, replacing Haliti, much to the delight of the Jets fans who he was playing in front of for the last time after not having his contract renewed.
In the 67th minute, the referee awarded a penalty to the home side when Glory defender Brent Griffiths handballed
GOAL Petrovski stepped up to the spot and dispatched it with ease, sending Velaphi the wrong way, to mark his final Newcastle match at home with a goal.
GOAL And the striker was soon in dreamland when he pounced on a Griffiths error after the re-start before taking the ball into the area and slotting home nicely to make it 4-0, becoming the Jets leading scorer for the season without starting a single game.
Petrovski was then inches away from completing a hat-trick within ten minutes of coming on but his left-footed shot on an angle was kept out by Velaphi as the Jets continued to dominate proceedings.
From that point there was no way back for the Glory as the Jets kept themselves in the finals hunt and will need a similar performance against the Central Coast Mariners on the weekend.
Ben Kennedy (gk), Tarek Elrich, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Sam Gallaway (Pepper 55’), Jobe Wheelhouse, Ali Abbas (Virgili 75’), Marko Jesic, Mario Simic, Labinot Haliti (Petrovski 61’), Jeremy Brockie, Ryan Griffiths
Subs - Matthew Nash (gk), Jacob Pepper (55’), Sasho Petrovski (61’), James Virgili (75’)
Tando Velaphi (gk), Scott Neville, Josh Mitchell, Brent Griffiths, Todd Howarth, Howard Fondyke (Amphlett 64’), Jacob Burns, Adriano Pellegrino, Steve McGarry, Robbie Fowler, Adam Taggart (Jelic 79’)
Subs - Alex Pearson (gk), Tommy Amphlett (64’), Branko Jelic (79’), Josh Risdon