Jets stun Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium
Newcastle have dented Western Sydney's Premiers' Plate hopes – and breathed new life into their own season – after a shock 2-0 win at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.
The Newcastle Jets have dented Western Sydney's Premiers' Plate hopes - and breathed new life into their own season - after a shock 2-0 win at an eerily quiet Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.
A goal in each half to Kew Jaliens and Adam Taggart were enough to see off a limp Wanderers outfit that looked jaded after their third match in a week.
The Jets came to attack and possessed speed in everything they did and this time added a finishing touch to their play to stun a crowd of just over 12,000.
It was just the club's second win from their last 10 matches but has got the Jets back within two points of the top six with six games remaining.
The defeat for the Wanderers means Tony Popovic's side remain seven points behind league-leaders Brisbane, who now appear certain to finish with the minor premiership.
But a lot of the focus of the match came off the pitch with the Wanderers' vocal support group the Red and Black Bloc remaining mute for the entire 90 minutes.
Members of the RBB decided to stage a silent protest as a result of sanctions imposed by club management after a number of flares were let off in Wednesday night's Asian Champions League clash.
It made for a rather flat atmosphere which translated onto the pitch in a drab first half.
In the chances that were created the Jets looked the more threatening side and could have been in front inside seven minutes if not for some wasteful finishing from Emile Heskey.
The ball fell invitingly into the Englishman's path just inside the box but his volley found the stands rather than the back of the net.
Heskey did better with his next effort on the half hour, his low curling shot drawing a fine sprawling save from Ante Covic.
Despite some fleeting moments the Wanderers just couldn't get going and were eventually made to pay eight minutes before the break.
Andrew Hoole made a metre of space for himself on the left and picked out an unmarked Jaliens at the far post who finished clinically with his head.
The Jets continued to look dangerous on the break in the second half and put the result to bed on 64 minutes through Taggart.
Already denied by a brilliant save by Covic five minutes earlier, Taggart made no mistake this time although he had a bit of luck.
The fringe Socceroos attacker showed great speed and strength to hold off Nikolai Topor-Stanley just inside the box, before his shot took a deflection off Matthew Spiranovic and flew high into the net.
It was Taggart's 10th goal of the campaign and arguably his most important.
Not even the introduction of attack-minded Brendon Santalab and Kwabena Appiah could help spark the home side, who need to pick themselves up ahead of next weekend's Sydney derby.
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Newcastle Jets 2(Jaliens 37, Taggart 64)
Crowd: 12,079 @ Pirtek Stadium