Dimi at the double as Jets storm to Derby win in seven-goal thriller
Dimitri Petratos delivered a double as it rained goals for the Newcastle Jets in a 4-3 win over Central Coast Mariners in a wet and wild F3 Derby on Sunday.
The Jets stormed to just their second home win of the season at a rain-soaked McDonald Jones Stadium despite the Mariners briefly levelling terms early in the second half.
Petratos and Nikolai-Topor-Stanley struck inside the opening half-hour for the Jets as they threatened to run away with the result amidst a furious first-half blitz.
The Mariners steadied and surprisingly drew level through goals either side of half-time through Ruon Tongyik and Jack Clisby but it would prove short-lived as the Jets struck twice more just minutes later to wrap up the points.
A late strike from Chris Harold – on his Mariners debut – made for a slightly nervous conclusion, however, the Jets saw it out for their first win under interim coach Craig Deans in his final match in charge, with Welshman Carl Robinson taking the reins this week.
Despite an injury forcing Ben Kantarovski from the contest in the opening minutes, the Jets thrived in the sodden conditions as Arroyo and Petratos tested Mark Birighitti early and Steven Ugarkovic thundered a strike into the post inside the opening ten minutes.
They didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough as Petratos volleyed home his 20th goal in Newcastle colours to give the Jets’ fans their first goal at their home ground in nearly a month.
Momentum remained firmly with the hosts as the Mariners desperately charged down a handful of half-chances and the Jets deservedly doubled their lead midway through the half as Topor-Stanley converted from a corner at the back post.
Deans’ side should have had further reward for their domination in the 34th minute as Roy O’Donovon saw his initial sliding strike parried by Birighitti and Matthew Miller scooped the rebound over the cross bar.
The Mariners hopes looked further sunk when defender Kye Rowles was substituted shortly after with injury, but his replacement Tongyik proved the injection the visitors needed as he headed home from a corner for his first Hyundai A-League goal.
A set-piece again proved advantageous as the Mariners levelled through Jack Clisby just minutes after the restart – but that would be as good as it got for Alen Stacjic’s side as they slumped to a fourth straight defeat.
Petratos restored the Jets’ lead with a strong finish to a loose ball in the box just three minutes later, before an own goal from Kim Eun-Son from a Bobby Burns’ corner further sunk the Mariners hopes.
Returning fan favourite, Roy O’Donovan, spurned a second-half chance to seal the result for the hosts when he headed wide from a Miller cross, while Ugarkovic also saw a strong effort palmed by Birighitti in the final quarter hour.
The misses may have proved largely academic if it were not for a mishit clearance from Jets keeper Lewis Italiano that opened the door for Harold to pull the Mariners back to within a goal for the closing stages.
However, despite their unfamiliar position in front, the bottom-placed Jets ultimately saw out the remainder of the contest to move level on points with the Mariners on the Hyundai A-League table.
Ugarkovic strikes the woodwork early
The hosts were quick out of the blocks in the sodden conditions and very nearly delivered an opener in just the eighth minute of play. Ugarkovic found space on the outskirts of the penalty area and unleashed a fierce hit that looked goal-bound, but it bounced back off the frame to the relief of the under pressure Mariners defence.
Petratos capitalises with a thundering finish
With the Jets continuing to mount pressure the breakthrough came immediately prior to the quarter hour to take a well-deserved lead courtesy of Dimitri Petratos.
A floated cross from Matthew Miller sent the ball into the box and a clever squaring header from Arroyo found Petratos in enough space to turn the ball home with a full-blooded strike that left Mark Birighitti no chance in the Mariners goal.
The hit marks a 20th goal in Jets colours for Petratos.
Topor Stanley doubles the lead
The Mariners' defenders continued to fail to heed the warnings from the Jets dominant opening and went completely AWOL as the Jets doubled their lead on 25 minutes from a corner.
Petratos' turned provider with the delivery to the back post where an unmarked Nikolai Topor-Stanley, who had earlier headed wide of the target, made no mistake with a side-footed half-volley into the back of the net.
Mariners find a lifeline from unlikely source before the break
Sputtering from open play and needing a spark of any kind, the Mariners found it just before the break from the unlikely source of defender Ruon Tongyik.
Entering the fray just minutes early to replace the injured Kye Rowles, Tongyik rose strongly admidst the traffic from a corner kick to head in his first ever Hyundai A-League goal and give his side a lift ahead of the second half.
Clisby levels it up shortly after the restart
It was another set-piece that brought the Jets undone again after the restart and the Mariners found themselves level.
Jack Clisby was found in acres of space in the box from Milan Duric’s floated free-kick and his stooping header caught Lewis Italiano wrong-footed to bounce across the line to undo the Jets earlier dominance.
Jets reply instantly through that man Petratos
Spurred into action, the Jets sought immediately reply as Arroyo saw a goal struck off for offside, but just a minute later they were back in front through another stunning finish from Petratos.
Arroy's initial strike deflected off his marker but it fell fortuitously for Petratos just inside the penalty area to smash it toward goal for his second of the contest in the 52nd minute.
The goals keep coming in Newcastle
The Mariners hard-work to fight back from two goals down was all undone just minutes later as the Jets netted their fourth of the contest.
A corner kick to their near post by Bobby Burns eluded the threatening Arroyo and Topor-Stanley but not Mariners defender Kim Eun-Sun, whose attempted headed clearance could only find the back of his own net.
Mariners set up grandstand finish
The Jets looked home and hosed heading into the closing stages, but an error from Lewis Italiano opened the door for the Mariners.
The Jets goalkeeper's mishit clearance was nodded down into the path of new Mariner Chris Harold and he duly capitalised with a pin-point finish into the top corner.
The goal sees the Mariners stay ahead of the Jets on the Hyundai A-League table on goal difference.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Newcastle Jets
Saturday, 15 February
Kick off: 7.30pm AEDT
Adelaide United v Central Coast Mariners
Friday, 14 February
Kick off: 7pm local, 7.30pm AEDT