Perth Glory FC has climbed back to the top of the Hyundai A-League after a 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets this afternoon.
Goals to Andy Keogh and a superb late strike by Nebojsa Marinkovic did the job for Perth, who now sit in equal top spot alongside Melbourne Victory.
Wet and rainy conditions welcomed Glory at Hunter Stadium, but the gloomy weather didn’t preclude the West Australians from an attacking mindset.
Hot on the heels of a five goal haul for the Olyroos, Jamie Maclaren met a cross from the left as he ran to the penalty spot, but the ball skidded off his outstretched leg posing little threat for the Jets.
Two minutes later, in the sixth minute, Maclaren made a run on the break but was nudged over by a Jets defender. Newcastle then broke away and almost scored at the other end through fellow-Olyroo Andrew Hoole.
It was end-to-end stuff from both sides but Newcastle had a good chance to score when Enver Alivodic got in a one-on-one position with Danny Vukovic and shot on goal. But Glory’s custodian did well to save with his foot and keep Perth in the game.
Just before half time, a nice passage of play saw Risdon find Sidnei, who chested down to Keogh but the Irishman’s volley floated well over the cross bar.
The rain continued to fall as the second half began, and Glory was called on again to block another Jets threat on goal.
A minute later, Mitch Cooper missed a sitter for the home side. Alivodic broke down the right flank and crossed the ball into a solo-Cooper in the middle of the box but his diving header went wide of the post.
Perth didn’t wait much longer to punish the Jets for their lack of finishing. A string of passes found Sidnei who fired on goal, forcing Jets ‘keeper Ben Kennedy to parry the ball away. Maclaren scooped up the loose ball to Keogh, who leapt high to head home in the 50th minute.
The rain continued to fall and so did the chances for Newcastle. Taylor Regan this time headed the ball on goal but his shot struck the cross bar.
Moments later, some neat link-up play between Keogh and Maclaren sent the young striker on his way, but the Jets threw enough bodies in the way to block his shot.
The Jets almost pulled one back in the 70th minute, but were frustrated by more desperate defending, this time by man of the match Dino Djulbic and ex-Socceroo Richard Garcia.
As the Jets searched for the equaliser, Glory looked for the sealer.
And it came in the 85th minute, after Keogh flicked on a header to the path of substitute Marinkovic, who thundered the ball into the back of the net, crashing into the inside of the upright on the way in.
“It was a big win for us. Newcastle were on top early but we defended very well and then punished them” said Djulbic who was voted man of the match.
“It was good, we’re equal top now with [Melbourne] Victory…we just want to win the next three games ” he added.
Glory host Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Friday night in what will be the second last home game for Perth this season.
Kick-off is at 7.45pm and tickets can be purchased at the game or click here now.
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Mullen, Regan, Ki-Je, Kantarovski, Caravella, Cowburn, Hoole, M. Cooper (Burgess 80’), Alivodic, Montano (Pavicevic 73’)
Perth Glory FC: Vukovic, Griffiths, Djulbic, Keogh, Garcia (Marinkovic 76’), Maclaren (Ferreira 82’), Sidnei (Harold 78’), Risdon, Jamieson, Thwaite, Paljic
Scorers: Keogh 50’, Marinkovic 84’
Red cards: none
Yellow cards: none