A lesson in taking your chances, as taught by the Newcastle Jets in their 3-1 over Melbourne City
The Newcastle Jets rung the changes, as Ernie Merrick had to switch to some of his back-up players, with his faith being ultimately rewarded.
Newcastle did well to combat Melbourne City’s attempts to dominate, as for all their possession City again seemed to lack any real intent to penetrate the Jets goal.
If one should ever need an example of the strengths and weaknesses in both a proactive and reactionary footballing approach, one needn’t look further than the Jets’ brilliant counter attacking win.
City’s excessive possession in the second half allowed the Jets attack (aided particularly by the introduction of Roy O’Donovan and Joey Champness) to pounce smartly, clinically putting their side 3-1 ahead, making Jamie Maclaren’s equaliser seem like a distant memory for City.
Lewis Italiano — 7
Stood up tall and collected City’s few chances astutely in the first half. Maintained his reliable standard in the second half.
Johnny Koutroumbis — 8
Had a fantastic marauding run in to the City penalty box end with him being collected by a Melbourne defender, to the deaf ears of the referee. Lofted a welcoming cross from the flank on to Jair for the Jets’ opener and was quality throughout.
Lachlan Jackson — 7
Sturdy and solid whilst being unspectacular.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley — 7
Was industrious in keeping his side’s head in the game on the defensive end. Had to cop a yellow card on the chin late on.
Ivan Vujica — 6.5
No doubt the fullback is full of confidence every time he steps on to the pitch. Vujica is fearless in taking on the opposition, but is sloppy in moments where there are easier solutions. Near dangerous play in the end almost led to a fatal turnover, but Topor-Stanley was smartly to it.