Jets too strong for Phoenix ahead of LA Galaxy

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Newcastle Jets welcomed Wellington Phoenix to Energy Australia Stadium for the Round 15 Saturday night Hyundai A-League fixture which the Novocastrians prevailed by one goal to nil.

The Jets were keen to continue the strong mid-season form that has built on the foundation provided by new owner Nathan Tinkler which has brought much improved crowds, a new shirt sponsor and the promise of a world class fixture against David Beckham’s MLS side LA Galaxy next Saturday night.

A new feel Jets line up gelled well with Taylor Regan a new centre back pairing for previous game goal scorer Nikolai Topor-Stanley. The two played strongly together and provided the basis for Italian Marcello Fiorentini, making his fifth A-League appearance supporting Everton and Arsenal prodigy-cum-journeyman Francis Jeffers down the left hand side.

Wellington would miss Socceroos defender Jade North due to international duty in the 3-0 loss to the Pharaohs in Cairo in mid week whilst Kiwi international Tim Brown was unavailable due to suspension.

The Jets, despite the shocking home ground surface, had excellent momentum throughout the match with a marauding Francis Jeffers roaming the pitch with purpose and distinction; creating space for fellow striker Marko Jesic whose creativity caused the Phoenix great concern for the full 90.

The Newcastle midfield dominated the first half providing an excellent passing performance, moving the ball around at pace and with good principle in a manner akin to Hyundai A-League leaders Brisbane Roar; young Socceroos Captain Ben Katarovski and veteran Kasey Wehrman the catalysts.

Jesic generally found himself in excellent areas on the end of extended build up play with great opportunities after peeling off Kiwi defenders and into space. The young striker could have had made more than one mark on the scoresheet as he continued to thrive under Newcastle Coach Branko Culina.

On 55 minutes a quality finish which capitalised on a Troy Hearfield slip after a slick turn gave Marko Jesic the man of the match honours. The clinical curved shot bulged the net at the northern end of Energy Australia Stadium as a fully outstretched Mark Paston could do nothing to prevent the goal.

Ben Kennedy kept another clean sheet as the Newcastle Jets ran out worthy one-nil winners.

Crowd: 12,147

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