Two strikes on either side of the break rendered Nikola Mileusnic’s opener irrelevant, as the Newcastle Jets stole all three points on a sticky night at Coopers Stadium.

Ben Kantarovski, who was lucky not to receive his marching orders in the first ten minutes, buried the opener on the cusp of half-time before a Ben Warland error gifted Andrew Nabbout the eventual winning goal two minutes into the second half.

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It was an inconsistent performance from both sides, but defensive lapses cost the home side dearly, who are yet to take a point from Coopers Stadium this season.

An uncharacteristically bright start from the home side saw George Blackwood force a strong early save from Jack Duncan before Kantarovski made an awful sliding challenge on Ryan Kitto.

The Newcastle midfielder was cautioned but many will argue it should have been a straight red, his only saving grace how early the incident occurred.

The Reds continued to conduct themselves superbly and deservedly went ahead in the 24th minute through Mileusnic.

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Kitto played in his fellow Adelaide winger with a tremendous ball from the left, giving Mileusnic time to compose himself and slide the ball past Duncan into the bottom right.

Newcastle clicked into gear late in the half managing three great chances to draw level in the final three minutes.

Paul Izzo stepped up to stop the first two with a pair of dazzling saves.

However, the Jets capitalised on the third with Dimitri Petratos’ low cross finding the fortunate Kantarovski playing in-front to bundle home the equaliser.

The away side pulled ahead immediately after the restart with Andrew Nabbout jumping on an awful defensive error.

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Poor awareness from Ben Warland saw his back pass cut off by Nabbout, who danced around Izzo and slotted into a gaping net.

With the match on its head at 2-1 Roy O’Donovan spurned what was perhaps the miss of the season.

Shambolic defending opened up an avenue for Nabbout on goal before he passed it across Izzo to the Irish international, who just had to pass into an open net but only found side-netting.

Adelaide’s defensive lapses continued to hand Newcastle opportunities to land the fatal blow and the hosts failed to construct anything substantial at the other end despite the introductions of Baba Diawara and Karim Matmour.

With five minutes remaining, Adelaide found themselves in a wonderful position after Diawara was felled illegally just outside the box, but Adlung’s curling effort flew a few inches too high.

The dying moments held some drama. Diawara headed Ben Garrucio’s swerving cross marginally over from the final play of the match, with referee Jarred Gillett blowing the final whistle to let Newcastle escape with their lead intact.

Adelaide United 1 (MILEUSNIC 24’)
Newcastle Jets 2 (KANTAROVSKI 45’, NABBOUT 47’)

Coopers Stadium (8416)

Referee: Jarred GILLETT
Assistant Referees: Paul CETRANGOLO & Matthew CREAM
Fourth Official: Daniel ELDER

Adelaide United
2. MARRONE Michael (12. OCHIENG Mark 84’), 4. WARLAND Benjamin, 7. KITTO Ryan, 8. ISAIAS (C), 14. BLACKWOOD George (9. DIAWARA Papa Babacar 61’), 16. KONSTANDOPOLOUS Nathan (10. MATMOUR Karim 66’), 17. MILEUSNIC Nikola, 19. GARUCCIO Benjamin, 20. IZZO Paul (gk), 23. ELSEY Jordan, 37. ADLUNG Daniel

Substitutes: 1. MARGUSH Daniel (gk), 9. DIAWARA Papa Babacar, 10. MATMOUR Karim, 12. OCHIENG Mark, 29. STRAIN Ryan

Newcastle Jets
l. DUNCAN Jack (gk), 3. HOFFMAN Jason, 4. BOOGAARD Nigel (C), 5. KANTAROVSKI Benjamin, 6. UGARKOVIC Steven, 7. PETRATOS Dimitri (18. KOUTROUMBIS John 87’), 9. O’DONOVAN Roy, 10. BROWN Wayne (16. COWBURN Nicholas 63’), 13. VUJICA Ivan, 15. NABBOUT Andrew (24. CHAMPNESS Joseph 72’), 44. TOPOR-STANLEY Nikolai

Substitutes: 12. SHABOW Mario, 16. COWBURN Nicholas, 18. KOUTROUMBIS John, 24. CHAMPNESS Joseph, 30. NECEVSKI Ivan (gk)

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