Live: Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers

sLive coverage as the Newcastle Jets take on the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Nanjing Night Net

It’s a warm night in Newcastle – 26 degrees – and both sets of supporters, the Jets’ Squadron and the Wanderers’ Red and Black Bloc are already in fine, and respectful, voice, which is great news considering the crowd unrest that marred the last fixture between these sides at Hunter Stadium. It’s a massive game for the Jets: new coach Clayton Zane had a fiery baptism last week – a poor 3-0 loss – and favourite son Joel Griffiths is back after almost six years gallivanting about the soccer globe. Apart from a resounding victory over the Roar weeks ago, the Jets have looked shaky in recent times, but in talisman Ruben Zadkovich, they have a man who can inspire great things from the back. The Wanderers got back on the winners’ list last week, and with Tomi Juric back from suspension and Youssouf Hersi in scintillating form, they will be hard to knock over. Tony Popovic has come under fire for his rotation policy but playing Matt Spiranovic in a defensive midfield role last week was a coaching master stroke. The Wanderers are playing in their predominantly white away kit and the Jets are resplendent in royal blue and scarlet. Late news: Emile Heskey out with a back spasm. The Wanderers are unchanged from last week – first time this season – with Juric on the bench. Hunker down for a massive game. This will be a corker.

Disturbing fact for Jets fans: Newcastle have only won two of their last home games.

3rd minute:

Jets kick-off and the Wanderers are dominating with excellent one-touch short passing between Mooy, Cole, Hersi and Ono. Mooy has really come of age in the last few weeks.

6th minute:

Adam Taggart was the Jets’ wonder boy earlier in the season, with a number of cracking goals, but like Newcastle he’s slipped in form recently.So far he hasn’t touched the ball.

NJ 0 WSW 0

8th minute:

Shinji Ono is on fire, one-two-ing with Mooy and then hitting a vicious shot just wide of the right post. Ooooh.

NJ 0 WSW 0

10th minute:

Brendan Santalab clatters into Zadkovich and the subsequent free kick from Goodwin is cleared nicely by Covic. Against the run of play, you’d have to say. Wanderers still pulling the levers.

NJ 0 WSW 0

13th minute:

Jets show some promise. Caravella sprinting down the right flank, smashed in a low cross which Ward tried to stab in but Beauchamp wouldn’t allow him to get goalside and Covic made the save. Good, gritty stuff from the Newie boys.

NJ 0 WSW 0

16th minute:

Wanderers are camping in the Jets’ box. Nicky Ward brought down Mooy from behind 30m out and Ono’s inswinging freekick was well dealt with by Jaliens who headed away for a corner. It was the first of three successive corners, the Jets ultimately smashing the ball out of danger.

NJ 0 WSW 0

20th minute:

So far the Wanderers have been making all the play – the Jets are playing a reactive game, almost like they’re the away team.

NJ 0 WSW 0

22nd minute:

Topor-Stanley is looking very impressive at the back tonight, regularly cutting out Newcastle though-balls.

NJ 0 WSW 0

24th minute:

Goal out of the blue! A 30m cannonball screamer from Adam Taggart. Wow! Covic had no chance – his outstretched hands were a metre from the ball. A great run from Nicky Ward ended with him turning the ball back to Taggart with nothing really going on. Then he unleashed his right boot and WHOOSHKA!

NJ 1 WSW 0

29th minute:

On the back of that wonder goal, the Jets have grown in confidence. Nicky Ward and Caravella are making strong runs from midfield, but the Wanderers back four are a deadset wall – except when it comes to long-range efforts, of course.

NJ 1 WSW 0

33rd minute:

A fantastic weaving run from Goodwin on the byline, nutting Spiranovic along the way, culminated in a toe poke at Covic from a tight angle. Inspiring stuff.

NJ 1 WSW 0

37th minute:

A Jaliens foul on Santalab gave the Wanderers a foul from 20m out but Ono ripped the ball over the crossbar. The Wanderers are still playing patiently when in possession – they’re the more attractive football side at this point.

NJ 1 WSW 0

42nd minute:

Ripper goal! Aaron Mooy wins another free kick for the Wanderers 30m out and curls the ball into the top right hand corner of the Newcastle goal. Fantastic strike. Beckham-esque.

NJ 1 WSW 1

Halftime and the honours are even thanks to two awesome goals – a broken play 30m piledriver from Adam Taggart, and a sweetly hit 20m free kick by Aaron Mooy. Both teams have everything to play for this half, but Tony Popovic must be feeling confident his team’s patient, possession-based football will pay off. Apart from Mooy, who is having another pearler, the Wanderers well-oiled midfield is functioning neatly and the Jets will have to find a way to grab more possession. Clayton Zane will be hoping Caravella can produce more bucaneering runs from midfield and if Nicky Ward can turn it on like he did in the first stanza, this will go down to the wire. Time for a beverage. Check you in 5.

NJ 1 WSW 1

Jets fans unleash:

#NEWvWSW Wait until the Jets unleash Griffo in the 2nd half.— LewDub (@NaoetsuCafe) February 1, 2014

Grammar point for the Red and Black Bloc…

Shouldn’t it be ‘whom’ instead of ‘Who do you sing for?’…. #NEWvWSW— Gareth Askham (@GarethAskham) February 1, 2014

48th minute:

The Jets have only had one clean sheet in their last 14 matches… but that’s not going to worry Adam Taggart whose stinging shot from the inside of the 18s is goal-bound till Covic snuffs it out with an acrobatic left fist. Taggart is on fire.

NJ 1 WSW 0

51st minute:

The Wanderers’ composed, slow build-ups almost bear fruit as Ono is denied by Zadkovich who hooks the ball away as the Japanese tries to get in a shot.

NJ 1 WSW 1

55th minute:

Jets fans are salivating: Joel Griffiths is warming up on the sideline. Meanwhile an inswinging free kick from Ono is met with a solid free header from Spiranovic. Alas for Wanderers fans it goes way over the crossbar. Should have done a lot, lot better. Ton Popovic throws his hands up in frustration…

NJ 1 WSW 1

59th minute:

The Wanderers are dictating terms at the moment, and the Jets can’t get any momentum. Plus, their supporters are being outsung by the Red and Black Bloc. Hersi and Ono are weaving their magic big time and the Hunter boys can’t get a look in.

NJ 1 WSW 162nd minute:First substitution – Joel Griffiths on for Nicky Ward, who has had a strong game.NJ 1 WSW 1

70th minute:

Wanderers’ first substitution: Santalab off for excitement machine Tomi Juric. That crazy goal has sparked the Jets into action: a Taggart shot on the run sees Covic diving to his left to haul in the leather. Newcastle is pressing forward in numbers.

NJ 1 WSW 2

73rd minute:

Just looking at the replay – it seems like Beauchamp scored off his elbow. Legitimate mind you, but hilarious on slow motion.

NJ 1 WSW 2

75th minute:

Wanderer Heffernan concedes a foul 2m outside the box and Griffiths caresses the free kick only a meter over the crossbar. Quick rap for Jets defender Taylor Regan – he has been outstanding at the back, regularly stopping the tricky Ono and Mooy in their tracks.

NJ 1 WSW 2

78th minute:

More substitutions – Pepper on for Goodwin, and Hersi off for Haliti. At this stage, Newcastle’s best hope for a goal must be in the interplay between free-running Caravella and Taggart up front. Taggart is super-sharp tonight.

NJ 1 WSW 2

82nd minute:

The Wanderers defence is holding firm – Topor-Stanley and Beauchamp have an excellent understanding. It’s frustrating the Jets as Zadkovich tries a hit and hope from 25m that crashes into a wall of legs.

NJ 1 WSW 2

86th minute:

More subbing: Ex-Leeds striker and Newcastle veteran Michael Bridges on for Caravella. Moments later, Haliti drills in a low shot Birighitti has to dig out. Close.

NJ 1 WSW 2

89th minute:

Goal. Another scrappy one, as Taggart intercepts a deflection from Ono 3m out and slots home the equaliser. The ball was ricocheting about and it needed the Jets’s strikers’ presence of mind to convert. A real poacher’s goal.

NJ 2 WSW 2

93rd minute:

Joel Griffiths has been sent off for remonstrating with the referee after Taggart was floored by Covic as he chased a bouncing through ball. Apparently the ref had already blown for full-time. A dramatic finale.

NJ 2 WSW 2

What a finish! The Jets had looked shot. The Wanderers were the better team for the majority of the match, only to concede a scrappy goal at the death. Adam Taggart was the Jets’ hero, with two fantastic striker’s goals. It was a great result for new coach Clayton Zane, who will be impressed with the fighting qualities his team showed tonight. Regan and Zadkovich, in particular, were inspirational for the red and blue. Tony Popovic can only dream of what might have been. Aaron Mooy created difficulties for Newcastle all over the park and Shinji Ono was silky smooth in midfield – as usual. But he won’t be overly disappointed by the way his side played – the Wanderers’ formation was steady all night and their passing movements smart and penetrating. All up a cracker of a game and a great night of football for the 16,000 crowd.

NJ 2 WSW 2

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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