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City go clear second with win over Jets as referee makes history

Kate Jacewicz made history as the first woman to referee an A-League match.

Kate Jacewicz made history as the first woman to referee an A-League match.Credit:Getty Images

But credit must go to the Jets who recovered their composure and staged a spirited second-half comeback in which they created chances of their own.

Welsh coach Carl Robinson, who is widely tipped to succeed Ernie Merrick – sacked after the Jets copped a 4-0 shellacking at AAMI Park earlier this month – was in the stands looking on, and he would have been quite impressed with the commitment shown by the A-League’s bottom club even if he would not have thought quite the same about their finishing.

Newcastle actually made the first threatening move when the Jets’ Panamanian international Abdiel Arroyo fed Nick Fitzgerald but the former City winger’s shot was dealt with by Dean Bouzanis who got an earlier than expected touch.

But from that moment on, at least for the next half hour, City began to exert their dominance.

Erick Mombaerts’ side had the bulk of possession as they looked to press high and move the Jets around, with Noone to the fore of all their positive moves in the opening period.

Noone got his first league goal of the season last week in a 2-2 draw at Suncorp Stadium and he was quick to follow up here.

The former Cardiff winger had a sighter in the seventh minute when he volleyed over from Adrian Luna’s cross, but he made no mistake in the eighth minute after City broke smartly from their own penalty area after defending a Jets corner.

The ball was fed out to Maclaren on the left and the striker looked up to find Noone: the wide man  still had plenty to do, but shifted the ball to his left foot and then picked his spot, finishing beautifully to the right of Jets keeper Lewis Italiano.

Noone was happy to take players on or lay the ball off for a teammate in a dangerous area while back-from-suspension centre-back Harrison Delbridge was spraying the ball around from defence.

It looked as though City were bound to stretch their lead but the Jets came into their own in the last 10 minutes of the opening period.

Bouzanis had to dive smartly to deny Matt Millar’s header from a Dimi Petratos corner, Fitzgerald shot wide and then a Petratos drive flashed over the bar.

Newcastle's Abdiel Arroyo goes for the ball against City.

Newcastle’s Abdiel Arroyo goes for the ball against City.Credit:AAP

Lachlan Wales had an excellent chance to double City’s lead when he was set up by Luna’s pass but was denied by a Matt Millar interception.

The second half was characterised by a good Newcastle fightback, with Arroya leading the way.

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Arroyo worked hard, using his height and strength to provide a target as the visitors looked to get back into the game. He had the ball in the net in the 58th minute only to be ruled out for offside.

But just after the hour, Nikolai Topor-Stanley was judged by referee Jacewicz to have handled in a heading duel with Delbridge, and the Jets’ fate looked sealed.

The VAR confirmed the call, and Maclaren stepped forward to slot home his 13th goal of the season to give City the two-goal buffer they needed.

Kaine Sheppard had a golden chance to pull one back in the last 10 minutes for the Jets but shot over with just Bouzanis to beat.

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