Jets claim Sky Blues scalp

04 March 2018 07:07:29 EST

Newcastle Jets gave the clearest sign yet that they can challenge Sydney FC for the championship, as they beat them 2-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

The Jets inflicted just the second defeat of the season on the Sky Blues, and did so despite playing for almost 80 minutes with 10 men.

Ernie Merrick's side cut Sydney's lead at the top to eight points thanks to Andrew Nabbout's winner.

It was their first success in 16 meetings with the Sky Blues, and all the more remarkable for being achieved after Roy O'Donovan was dismissed on 14 minutes.

The Irishman saw red for slapping Jordy Buijs on the side of the head. The defender fell to the turf after an altercation while contesting the ball and after a four-minute VAR review O'Donovan was dismissed by referee Chris Beath.

That could have been the cue for the visitors to cash in against the side that finished bottom of the league last season.

Merrick's side are a different prospect this term, though, and they took the lead just before the break from the penalty spot.

The visitors almost went ahead when Milos Ninkovic brushed the side netting, before Nikolai Topor-Stanley drew a penalty from Buijs and Dimi Petratos converted from the spot.

Sydney FC levelled just after the interval as Bobo rose to head home his 22nd goal of the season from Buijs' superb free-kick.

But just five minutes later Nabbout fired home an angled drive from 30 metres, beating the dive of Andrew Redmayne and finding the corner of the net.

Petratos could have made it 3-1 late on but hit the post at the end of a solo weaving run through the defence.

The visitors twice came close to a second equaliser, Adrian Mierzejewski seeing his deflected shot cleared off the line and then substitute Matt Simon heading over from close range.

Meanwhile, Perth Glory play Central Coast Mariners next weekend with Glory 11/10, the Mariners 9/4 and the draw priced at 13/5.

Glory are 10/1 to win the game 1-0.

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