Jets outgun Gold Coast

The Newcastle Jets have moved into fourth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder with an impressive 3-2 win over Gold Coast United in their Round 18 clash at EnergyAustralia on Sunday afternoon.

The Newcastle Jets have moved into fourth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder with an impressive 3-2 win over Gold Coast United in their Round 18 clash at EnergyAustralia on Sunday afternoon.

The sides were locked at 1-1 at half-time after a spectacular early strike from Jets midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse was cancelled out by a Shane Smeltz penalty in the 44th minute.

Gold Coast looked to have taken control of the match in the second half before hard-fought goals to Sean Rooney and veteran Sasho Petrovski gave the home side a 3-1 lead after 80 minutes.

Smeltz claimed his second six minutes from full-time as the visitors searched valiantly for a share of the spoils but Newcastle was able to hold on for its third win in a row to move just two points behind third-placed Gold Coast.

"It was very pleasing,: Newcastle coach Branko Culina said after the match. "It just goes when you put in hard work and determination and have some belief in yourself then you can doing almost anything."

The Jets got the perfect start with a goal in just the sixth minute of play. Jin-Hyung Song ghosted his way down the right flank before crossing to an unmarked Wheelhouse who fired a fantastic first-time volley from 25 metres out over Jess van Strattan in the Gold Coast goals for an early 1-0 lead.

Gold Coast almost hit back immediately with Andrew Barisic forcing a good diving save from Newcastle goalkeeper Neil Young following a solid shot from the edge of the area.

The visitors continued to press and an attractive interchange of passes between Smeltz and Barisic set up a first-time shot for new recruit Charlie Miller in the 33rd minute but he could only spoon his shot over the bar from 20 yards out.

The home side received a blow in the 40th minute when marquee player Fabio Vignaroli sustained an injury to his right shin, with Adam D'Apuzzo coming on as a replacement in the midfield.

Gold Coast drew level just before half-time via a Smeltz penalty. The New Zealand international managed to get in behind the Newcastle defence and as he raced into the box he clashed with Jets defender Ben Kantarovski.

Referee Ben Williams had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Smeltz was good enough to neatly place the ball in the corner of the net to send the teams to the sheds locked at 1-1.

Gold Coast came out the hungrier of the teams after the break with Jason Culina unleashing a vicious shot that sailed inches over the bar, left-back Anderson got forward to shoot wide of the target and Smeltz and Zenon Caravella caused the Newcastle defence plenty of headaches.

But just as it would seem United would break the deadlock it was some clever work from Newcastle captain Matt Thompson that put the home side back in the lead in the 70th minute.

He lofted a side-footed volley from a Tarek Elrich throw-in that looped over the defence and off the crossbar. Striker Sean Rooney was first to the rebound to head home from three yards out.

The Jets had the momentum and went 3-1 ahead 11 minutes later when Song leapt high for a long ball to put Rooney into space. The talented striker danced around Anderson and sent a low cross in for substitute Petrovski to get in front of Michael Twaite and tap home from pointblank range.

Gold Coast continued to attack and ensured a nervous finish for the vocal home crowd when Smeltz tapped in his second following a goal-mouth scramble in the 84th minute.

Young produced a fine diving save to deny a late equaliser from a well-struck 18-yard shot from Culina to ensure the Jets claimed all three points in an exciting encounter.

"We were part of a good game," said an effervescent Miron Bleiberg after the match. "When you see Jobe Wheelhouse scoring a goal like Maradonna you know it is not going to be your day."

Newcastle Jets 3(Wheelhouse 6, Rooney 70, Petrovski 81) Gold Coast United 2 (Smeltz 44p, 84) Crowd: 5254 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.