Derbyshire scores as Macarthur FC edge Jets and hit summit
Macarthur FC registered their second A-League win and are top of the competition after holding their nerve and beating Newcastle Jets 2-1 in Sunday's clash in the Hunter Valley.
Loic Puyo broke the deadlock with a sensational acrobatic opener on eight minutes and after Jason Hoffman's goal was overturned by VAR, Matt Derbyshire scored his maiden A-League goal by planting Puyo's corner past Jets' keeper Jack Duncan.
Macarthur threatened to run away with it but Valentino Yuel got Newcastle back into it on the stroke of half time by sticking home after a penalty box scramble and had their opponents on the back foot for much of the second half.
Roy O'Donovan and Yuel drew saves from Federici but despite their endeavour Newcastle were left empty handed and were consigned to their third defeat of the campaign.
Macarthur go top of the league on seven points, with second-placed Central Coast Mariners (six points) to play Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday.
Macarthur started brightly and took the lead in spectacular fashion. Ivan Franjic's cross took a deflection of Jets defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley but the Frenchman Puyo readjusted superbly to hook the ball over his shoulder and past Duncan.
A former Amiens, Nancy and Angers man, that was the 32-year-old's first goal outside of France.
Newcastle appeared to be hanging on when Connor O'Toole blocked Markel Susaeta's effort at the back post but responded positively. Angus Thurgate came close to capping a swift counter attack but placed an effort wide, and Hoffman had the ball in the net after a long passage of play inside the visitors' box only for the goal to be disallowed following consultation with VAR.
Ante Milicic's side then made it two when Derbyshire met Puyo's deliver with a powerful header at the near post, the former Premier League striker's first goal since joining the Bulls after a stint with Cypriot outfit Omonia.
Derbyshire's header had Macarthur cruising but the action-packed first half exploded once again with the Jets pulling a goal back shortly before half time.
Ramy Najjarine released O'Donovan into the box and when the Irishman saw his initial shot cleared off the line by Franjic and the rebound saved by Federici, only for Yuel to stick the ball home.
In the final chance of first half action, Derbyshire was denied a brace by the woodwork after Lachlan Rose's shot was deflected into his path by Nigel Boogaard.
Newcastle made their intentions clear early in the second half and were on the front foot. O'Donovan received a great chance to square the ledger but hit his shot straight at Adam Federici.
The Socceroos gloveman had to get strong palms behind Yuel's rasping drive as the Jets dominated the ball inside Macarthur's defensive third.
Craig Deans' side peppered the Macarthur penalty area with dangerous crosses but could not find a telling touch in front of goal in a second half that should fill Newcastle fans with optimism despite the result.
Newcastle Jets v Brisbane Roar
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick off: 7.05pm AEDT
Macarthur FC v Sydney FC
Sunday, 31 January 2021
Venue: Campbelltown Stadium
Kick off: 6.00pm
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