Sydney pips wasteful Jets

Sydney FC has grabbed a slice of the Hyundai A-League competition lead after beating a wasteful Newcastle 2-1 in an action-packed encounter at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Sydney FC has grabbed a slice of the Hyundai A-League competition lead after beating a wasteful Newcastle 2-1 in an action-packed encounter at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Goals to Mark Bridge and Steve Corica (penalty) sandwiched Matthew Thompson's first half goal as the Jets' winless run on the road stretched to 12 games.

Newcastle will feel it should have left town with a share of the points, Thompson missing a penalty after 22 minutes and the woodwork denying them late.

The Jets finished the match with 10 men after Tarek Elrich was dismissed for a studs up tackle on Sung-Hwan Byun in the dying minutes.

Sydney's win leaves it equal with Gold Coast at the top of the ladder after seven rounds.

In an entertaining game which swung from end to end before a crowd of 10,357, Bridge opened the scoring 26 minutes in before Thompson replied with a tap in 11 minutes later.

The ever-cool Corica settled the affair from the spot at the 55-minute mark after Alex Brosque was brought down in the box by Newcastle goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.

There was no John Aloisi (knee), Stephan Keller (calf) or Karol Kisel (ill) on the Sydney team sheet, while Rhyan Grant (under-20 World Cup) was also absent.

Sky Blues coach Vitezslav Lavicka adopted a traditional 4-4-2 formation to start the match, asking more from his players in the attacking third.

But there was no real urgency or fluency from the home side early, Newcastle beginning in more positive fashion and causing problems for the Sydney defence.

Former Sky Blues striker Sasho Petrovski is always one to take on defenders and he unleashed the first real shot on goal 11 minutes in, turning Byun and letting fly with a left-foot shot that Clint Bolton fumbled over the byline for a corner.

The game then exploded into action, the Jets controversially awarded a penalty after Stuart Musialik was ruled to have given Fabio Vignaroli's shirt a tug inside the box on 22 minutes.

But Thompson failed to take advantage of his side's good fortune, hitting his spot kick meekly along the ground for Bolton to comfortably smother to his left.

Bridge then did it all himself four minutes later to give Sydney a 1-0 lead.

Receiving the ball on Newcastle's side of the centre circle, the former Jets marksman pulled the defence right with an incisive run before unleashing a cracking right-foot shot past a motionless Kennedy into the top left corner of the goal.

Eleven minutes later the visitors had their reply through Thompson thanks to some lovely lead-up from Kaz Patafta.

The ex-Victory midfielder, who spent time on the books of Portuguese giants Benfica, nut-megged Byun to work himself into the box before driving a left-foot shot that Bolton could only parry into Thompson's path at the back post.

Desperate to make up for his penalty miss, the Jets captain completed the tap in to equal at 1-1.

Kennedy was lucky to stay on the field after bringing Brosque down in the 55th minute, the Sydney FC striker having rounded him at the top of the box.

Instead the Jets custodian was shown a yellow card and was easily beaten by Corica from the spot despite guessing the right way.

Newcastle refused to lie down and was unlucky not to equalise in the 71st minute, Jin-Hyung Song's curling effort smacking against the crossbar.

Three minutes later rangy defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley saw his header flash a metre wide of the far post after getting on the end of a corner.

But there was to be no late reprieve for Branko Culina - back at the SFS for the first time since his sacking from Sydney FC two years ago - or his men.

Sydney FC 2 Bridge (26m), Corica (55m pen)

Newcastle 1 Thompson (37m)