Jets win F3 derby over Mariners

Newcastle Jets have given interim coach Craig Deans a fitting farewell by holding on for a gutsy 1-0 win over Central Coast Mariners in a typically tough F3 derby at Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle Jets have given interim coach Craig Deans a fitting farewell by holding on for a gutsy 1-0 win over Central Coast Mariners in a typically tough F3 derby at Ausgrid Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Jets had the better of play in the first half with Kiwi international Jeremy Brockie scoring in the 25th minute after he had pounced on a loose pass from the Mariners defence.

Central Coast goalkeeper Matthew Ryan kept his side in the contest with a number of impressive saves to see the Jets hold a 1-0 lead at half-time.

It was a total contrast in the second half as the Mariners pushed up the park in search of an equaliser with Matt Simon and substitute Bernie Ibini threatening the Newcastle goal with a number of enterprising raids but a dogged Jets defence managed to hold on for an important win.

The victory sees the Jets stay in the top half of the table while last year-s Grand Finalsit are still winless after three rounds.

The match started in brilliant conditions and it was the Jets who had the better of the opening exchanges, getting in behind the Mariners defence and finding plenty of space on the wings.

Newcastle striker Labinot Haliti had the first real chance on goal in the 18th minute when he picked up a loose ball in an attacking position and drove into the penalty area but Mariners keeper Matthew Ryan The Mariners almost got the opener a few moments later when Oliver Bozanic fired a curling 25 metre free-kick around the wall only for Jets custodian ben Kennedy to push the ball around the far post with a fine diving save.

The Jets eventually went ahead in the 25th minute when Jeremy Brockie pounced onto an errant pass out of defence by Bradley Porter and weave his way past two Mariners defenders before lifting the ball sweetly over an advancing Ryan to place in the ball in the far corner for a 1-0 lead.

The Mariners almost hit back in the 34th minute when Jets defender Tarek Elrich scuffed a clearing kick and Daniel McBreen swooped on the loose ball only to send his chip shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Ryan pulled off a great reflex save to deny Haliti from close range in the 36th minute and then stuck out his right hand to parry away shot from Brockie after the Kiwi international shot on the turn after being played in by Zadkovich.

Ryan proved his worth again by producing a fine diving save to push away a shot from Jets left-back Byun following a free-kick to the home side from 25 metres out in the 45th minute and the sides to the break with the Jets leading 1-0.

The Mariners came out with more fire in the second half and produced three good opportunities with the first 10 minutes after the break.

Matt Simon did well to get into space on the edge of the area but sent his shot sailing over the crossbar from right in front before Michael McGlinchey-s left foot attempt from the right edge was easily saved by Kennedy.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold brought on Bernie Ibini for Adriano Pelligrino and the youngster-s first touch was a mistimed shot from 20 metres out that was picked up by Kennedy.

Central Coast continued to push forward and were unlucky not to score after a goalmouth scramble that saw Jets skipper Kasey Wehrman clear before Simon could poke it into the net.

Jets coach brought on Marko Jesic for Brockie just after the hour mark but it was the Mariners who still had momentum with left-back Joshua Rose creating plenty of headaches for the Jets defence with some incisive runs and through balls down the left flank.

Ali Abbas replaced Zadkovich while the Mariners brought on Tory Hearfield for McGlinchey with 15 minutes remaining.

Another Ibini shot from the edge of the box saw Kennedy parry the shot away as the Jets scrambled in defence.

Arnold brought on striker Adam Kwasnik with 10 minutes to go but the best chance of the final minutes went to Ryan Griffiths who swung a dangerous 25 metre free-kick in from the edge of the area that saw Ryan push around the near post.

Newcastle wore down time in the final minutes playing possession football to hold on for the win much to the thrill of the 14,421-strong crowd.

Newcastle Jets 1 Brockie 25' Central Coast Mariners 0 Crowd 14,421 at Ausgrid Stadium.