Embattled A-League club Newcastle Jets have recorded a much-needed win, defeating Perth Glory 2-0. The Jets, who are struggling financially and were winless before tonight, produced an inspired performance thanks to an early goal from Michael Bridges and a late buffer from Labinot Haliti to get their first maximum points of the term.
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium Crowd: 6,977 Referee: Ryan Shepheard Yellow cards:NJ - Zhang Shuo 45+2', Ruben Zadkovich 58', Labinot Haliti 90' PG - Jacob Burns 52'
Newcastle were well on top of proceedings in the early stages and their domination was rewarded when captain Michael Bridges struck in the 10th minute. GOAL The former Leeds United and Sunderland man found space in the area at the back of a group of players after a Kasey Wehrman corner and whipped home a right-footed shot that swerved through the Glory defence and into the back of the net.
The Jets had more chances in the first half with Glory keeper Tando Velaphi making some vital saves but Perth were able to create some of their own, at times against the run of play, and mainly through Robbie Fowler.
The home side were able to hold onto their lead when the half-time break came around and Branko Culina would have been very pleased with his side's performance in the opening 45.
Perth worked their way back into the contest and looked threatening at times but couldn't quite break down a stern Jets defence led by Ljubo Milicevic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley.
The match was headed for a narrow win to the home side until they went further ahead in the dying minutes.
GOAL Substitute Ali Abbas controlled well outside the area before playing in fellow substitute Labinot Haliti who took a beautiful touch to round Glory defender Andy Todd and slam home past a helpless Velaphi to make it 2-0 and give his side their first win of the season.
NJ Ben Kennedy (gk), Adam D'Apuzzo, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ljubo Milicevic, Ben Kantarovski, Kasey Wehrman, Michael Bridges, Zhang Shuo (Haliti 78'), Ruben Zadkovich, Tarek Elrich (Abbas 41'), Jeremy Brockie (Rooney 72')
Subs - Matthew Nash (gk), Labinot Haliti (78'), Sean Rooney (72'), Ali Abbas (41')
PG Tando Velaphi (gk), Josh Mitchell (Sekulovski 59'), Jamie Coyne, Andy Todd, Jamie Harnwell, Jacob Burns, Robbie Fowler (Jelic 61'), Steven McGarry, Adriano Pellegrino (Baird 46'), Todd Howarth, Mile Sterjovski
Subs - Alex Vrteski (gk), Michael Baird (46'), Branko Jelic (61'), Naum Sekulovski (59')