Craig Noone’s third goal of the season has guided Melbourne City to its eighth win of the season as the home fans got a late glimpse of new recruit Markel Susaeta
Goals from Noone and Jamie Maclaren either side of halftime wrapped up the three points for City, while a desperate Harrison Delbridge goal-line save ensured City walked away with the clean sheet as well.
The home fans were also treated to a cameo from former Atletico Bilbao veteran Markel Susaeta, who replaced Lachlan Wales in the 86th minute to a raucous applause from the City fans.
After butchering a chance from close range in the seventh minute – which flew into row Q off a volley – Noone made amends just 60 seconds later by opening the scoring.
A textbook counterattack saw Jamie Maclaren surge forward into space before picking out Noone with a squared pass across the box, to which the former Bolton striker clinically curled into the bottom corner for his third goal of the season.
Noone nearly repaid the favour in the 32nd minute when his long ball found the Socceroo – whose attempt was parried by Jets goalkeeper Lewis Italiano – who replaced the injured Glen Moss in the line-up.
At the other end Dean Bouzanis made an equally impressive save to deny a powerful Abdiel Arroyo header from a Dimitri Petratos corner in the 35th minute.
The Panamanian international met the ball cleanly in a congested penalty area only to be denied by a fast-moving Bouzanis – who did well to block the attempt down on his left.
Despite dominating the first half City only had the one goal to show for it at the break.
Lachie Wales sought to give his side a little more breathing room when he combined with Florin Berenguer after cutting into the box from the left wing, albeit the Frenchman was unable to trouble Italiano – with his side-footed attempt rolling into the hands of the Jets goalkeeper.
Bullying his way forward, Arroyo was again involved in the Jets attack – creating their best chance of the game in the 48th minute.
Despite the forward beating two City defenders in the process, the Jets were unable to capitalise on this rare opportunity, as Hoffman’s blind swing towards goal flew over the crossbar and into the bronx cheer of the City active area.
Arroyo did have the ball in the back of the net, after another good combination with Hoffman ten minutes later – only for it to be ruled offside.
Further pain was added to the visitors when Nikolai Topor-Stanley was pinned for handball inside the box, with Harrison Delbridge heading the ball into the outstretched arm of the defender in mid-air.
Despite referee Kate Jacewicz missing not awarding the decision initially, consultation with the VAR saw the penalty given and put away by Maclaren in the 61st minute – sealing the three points for City.
Petratos nearly pulled one back for the Jets in the 73rd minute, only for his half-volley to be blocked on the line by a desperate Delbridge – ensuring the clean sheet for the home side.
Substitute Kaine Sheppard came equally as close in the 83rd minute, with the former Avondale forward unable to convert a Matt Millar cross from inside the six-yard box.
Susaeta’s late substition brought the City fans to their feet, who thoroughly enjoyed every one of his first few touches in a City shirt.
The 32-year-old nearly even picked up an assist on debut, putting a perfect cross into an unmarked Maclaren after City bust on the counter, though the Soccer was unable to keep his header down in the 91st minute.
The win is a timely one for City, who host a Perth Glory side next week who defeated them 3-0 at AAMI Park earlier in the season, while things do not get any easier for the Jets who travel to Wellington on Friday.
Melbourne City 2 (Noone 8′, Maclaren 61′)
Newcastle Jets 0
Dean Bouzanis (GK), Scott Jamieson, Harrison Delbridge, Josh Brillante, Jamie Maclaren, Florin Berenguer (Rostyn Griffiths 64’), Craig Noone (Stefan Colakovski 89′) Nathaniel Atkinson, Lachlan Wales (Markel Susaeta 86′) Adrian Luna, Curtis Good
Joe Gauci (GK), Kerrin Stokes, Yaya Dukuly, Idrus Abdulahi,
Lewis Italiano (GK), Bobby Burns, Jason Hoffman, Ben Kantarovski (Angus Thurgate 64’), Steven Ugarkovic, Abdiel Arroyo, Dimitri Petratos, Nick Fitzgerald (Kaine Sheppard 64’), Matt Millar, Lachlan Jackson, Nikolai Topor-Stanley
Noah James (GK), John Koutroumbis, Patrick Laglois,