Jets fight off Fury

The Newcastle Jets have moved back inside the top six with a solid 1-0 win over the North Queensland Fury in front of a healthy Tuesday night crowd at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have moved back inside the top six with a solid 1-0 win over the North Queensland Fury in front of a healthy Tuesday night crowd at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

More than 8000 fans turned up to watch as Newcastle dominated the match from start to finish after snatching the lead via a Marko Jesic strike in the 12th minute of play.

The Jets should have added more to their tally but some scrambling defence and some amazing work between the posts from young custodian Sebastian Usai kept the Fury in the contest right up to the final whistle.

The win moves Newcastle up into sixth place on the ladder and just one point behind the Victory with a game in hand over the Melbournians, while the Fury remain rooted to the bottom of the table but can leave EnergyAustralia Stadium knowing they played bravely despite being outplayed.

Jets coach Branko Culina said he was proud of his side's performance to get two wins on the trot in the space of four days to put their season back on track.

"We said last week we would be pleased to come away from these two matches with four points, we-ve got six so we are very happy," he said.

Both sides observed a minute's silence before the match in respect of the tragedies that had occurred as a result of the floods in Queensland.

Fury operations manager Robbie Middleby said the day had been 'emotional' but believed his players had performed well in the fixture and did Queensland proud.

"It has been a very hectic day to be honest nothing direct with the players but we are all very attached to Queensland and what is going on at the moment and it is hard times," he said.

"With everyone going on up there at the moment and to miss some key players tonight as well I think the team performed exceptionally well and showed good character."

The Jets went into the match with just one change to the side that beat North Queensland 3-1 last Saturday night with Italian import Marcello Fiorentini replacing injured defender Adam D'Apuzzo while Fury coach Franz Straka continued his rotation policy by bringing Gareth Edds, Jason Sapgnuolo, Chris Grossmanand Brett Studman into the starting line-up, benching Eric Akoto and Panny Nikas and resting main attacking weapon David Williams.

Understandably it was the Jets who started better and they opened the scoring in just the 12th minute of play with an attractive attacking goal.

Labinot Haliti broke free down the left wing just inside the Fury half and took play into the penalty area before crossing at the back post where an unmarked Jesic slammed a left-foot shot into the corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Ruben Zadkovich should have doubled the home side's lead six minutes later when he snuck in behind the Fury defence and picked up Kasey Wehrman-s chipped pass.

Zadkovich's first touch took him around goalkeeper Sebastian Usai but he could only scuff his rushed shot narrowly over the crossbar.

Newcastle continued to dominate the contest and looked likely to add a second goal. Haliti hit the side netting with another raid down the left wing, Jesic fired over the bar and some desperate scrambling defence from the Fury, in particular Studman and Mark Hughes kept the score to 1-0 to the Jets at half-time.

Matthew Nash came on to replace Ben Kennedy in the Jets goal for the start of the second half and was called into action almost immediately as he produced a fine diving save to deny Raman Tavsancioglu.

Down the other end Usai showed his reflexes were equally as good to parry away a point-blank shot from Ryan Griffiths after the Jets striker had got in behind the North Queensland defence.

The Fury, who had made a number of changes of their own at the break including bringing on Akoto and Nikas rallied put the Jets under some genuine pressure.

The visitors best chance came just after the hour mark after a dangerous Adam Casey cross from the right found Jason Spagnuolo in front of goals but a sterling save from Nash denied the diminutive forward.

Newcastle eventually regained control and should have sealed the match on a number of occasions if not for the heroics of Usai in goals. The youngster repelled shots from Haliti and Tarek Elrich before producing an amazing diving save to swat a away a goal-bound header from substitute striker Sasho Petrovski when the ball looked certain to cross the paint.

In the end the Jets did enough to claim their second win in four days of the Fury and maintain their charge for an A-league finals berth.

Newcastle Jets 1 Jesic 12- North Queensland Fury 0

Crowd 8218 at EnergyAustralia Stadium