Newcastle stay unbeaten with win over Wellington
Published: 04 November 2017 Image credit: Getty Images
The Newcastle Jets have continued their unbeaten run to start the A-League season, with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in Newcastle.The Jets were led from the front by Roy O'Donovan who scored his league-leading sixth and seventh goals of the season to give Ernie Merrick a win against his former club.
With this victory, Newcastle sit comfortably in third position on the A-League ladder after three wins and two draws - with only Sydney FC and Melbourne City ahead of the Novocastrians on the table, giving great hope to a Jets side who has failed to make the Finals since 2010.The Jets came out of the gates early with Dimi Petratos heavily involved in the contest - but the Phoenix defense managed to hold strong and deny the home team in the opening half-hour of the match.
Newcastle eventually hit the scoresheet after a shocker from Phoenix defender Goran Paracki in the 36th minute - when his back-pass to keeper Keegan Smith landed right at the feet of an unmarked Roy O'Donovan inside the box.
Even though the Jets forward was denied on his first shot by Smith, the Irish striker eventually collected the rebound to slot home his sixth goal of the season and put the home side ahead 1-0 heading into the major break.
It didn't take long for Newcastle's lead to double, as Roy O'Donovan struck again on the stroke of halftime after Dimi Petratos ripped down the edge of the penalty box to whip a cross into lap of his striker, who guided the ball home with his thigh to score his second try in the first half.
The Jets faithful were given a lot to cheer about when their side headed to the sheds with a two-goal advantage - and were given even more excitement soon after the break, when Andrew Nabbout gave them a 3-0 lead in the 55th minute.
O'Donovan was influential again - as a nifty backheel from the striker kepty play alive and found Joseph Champness in space, who then fed Nabbout at the edge of the box, jinking around defenders to blast home his first goal of the 2017 season.
Newcastle continued their pressure as the minutes dwindled down - keeping the Phoenix at bay and only allowing one shot on goal for the entire match to help keep a well-earned clean sheet for the night, while they produced nine quality chances for themselves.