Newcastle Jets have saluted after a solid 3-2 performance with ten men over the Melbourne Victory. Newcastle Jets: 3 (Matt Thompson '26, Michael Bridges '45, Labinot Haliti '56) Melbourne Victory: 2 (Kevin Muscat (p) '35, Carlos Hernandez '90+1) Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium Crowd: 6,979
In an exciting first half, the Jets took the lead in the 26th minute when skipper Matt Thompson struck with a low shot and gave his side the ascendency over a team who had conceded just two goals in their past six outings.
But the Victory equalised in the 35th minute when their captain, Kevin Muscat, converted a penalty after Jets youngster Ben Kantarovski was sent off for a challenge in the area.
The home side was able to again hit the front when English import Michael Bridges put the ball in the back of the net on the stroke of half-time.
Just over ten minutes after the break, the ten-man Jets went further ahead when Jin-Hyung Song played a crafty lofted ball into the path of Labinot Haliti who used some ingenuity and hit a left-footed volley on the turn past a helpless Mitchell Langerak in the Victory goals.
Despite having an extra man, the Victory did not look likely to get themselves back into the contest as the Jets continued to look dangerous on the counter. Melbourne became increasingly frustrated as the game went on with key players giving away blatant fouls but somehow escaping the wrath of referee Matthew Breeze.
Carlos Hernandez gave Melbourne a glimmer of hope when he slotted home in injury-time but Newcastle were able to hold off any forward advances by the reigning champions and record a vital three points that enabled them to jump to fourth on the A-League table.