Jets: Fresh legs did it

Fresh legs from two of the Newcastle Jets' star players late in the Round 8 clash against the Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night helped seal a memorable 1-0 win for the defending Hyundai A-League champions.

Fresh legs from two of the Newcastle Jets' star players late in the Round 8 clash against the Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night helped seal a memorable 1-0 win for the defending Hyundai A-League champions.

Coach Gary van Egmond said his team lifted from a late surge when reigning Johnny Warren Medallist Joel Griffiths and Korean dynamo Song Jin-hyung entered the game midway into the second half.

"To have someone like Joel Griffiths come on in the last 20 minutes was excellent," he said at a post-match press conference.

"It puts the fear of God into defences after playing 70 minutes then having a fresh player like Joel and Song [Jin-hyung] running at you."

The Jets coach also showered praise on Ecuadorian international Edmundo Zura who, despite missing a penalty in the first half, played his best game for the season.

"I think he's been doing quite well. You use different motivations for different people and he had a point to prove tonight and I thought the fact we played someone up alongside him really helped his cause," van Egmond said.

"We tried a new formation which lent itself to the players we had. I like to play with the three up front but you can't be pigheaded in regards to what players you have."

But the night belonged to National Youth League bolter Jesic, who van Egmond described as a "natural goal scorer." Jesic impressed in the his Hyundai A-League debut a fortnight ago in the Jets 2-2 draw against the Wellington Phoenix and has proved he is comfortable at the elite level.

"He can play in a variety of positions [including] the shadow striker which is probably his best position. I was very happy for him. At 15, 16 [years old] he was touted as one of the brightest prospects and when that happens, your world turns upside down," van Egmond said.

"I'd suggest the under-20 national team coach [Jan Versleijen] would be watching this and rather him [Jesic] being on standby. He may fly out now which would obviously add to our woes of missing players but I'm happy for him."

The 19-year-old scored in 85th minute from a swiveling volley from a loose ball in front of the Victory goal.

"I'm really glad to be on the scoresheet. It's only my second game in the A-League. I had a couple of chances in the first half and a couple of chances in the second half and it finally paid off in the end," Jesic said.

"I wasn't trying to think. I kept on trying and plugging away and didn't let anything distract me."