NYL: Jets too strong

Newcastle have claimed their fourth straight Foxtel National Youth League win with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park.

Newcastle have claimed their fourth straight Foxtel National Youth League win with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the Melbourne Victory on Sunday.

Fringe first-team players Joey Gibbs and James Virgili scored first-half goals for the Jets at AAMI Park.

The lively Francesco Stella had given the Victory a 14th-minute lead and they looked the better side until midway through the first half.

Both teams found plenty of space in the opening exchanges before Stella scored in fine style after 14 minutes.

The forward skipped past a couple of markers and saw his 20-yard effort take a deflection, leaving Jets goalkeeper John Solari helpless.

It was Stella who threatened again two minutes later and again his shot – this time from inside the area – was deflected, but hit the post and bounced out.

Christopher Cristaldo pounced on the rebound but could only hit the side-netting from a tight angle.

Stella was lively in the opening 20 minutes and had the ball in the net again, but his placed effort into the bottom corner was cancelled out for offside.

The visitors had few chances but took one of their rare opportunities when it fell on 35 minutes.

Virgili’s deflected cross from the right found Gibbs inside the area and the former Western Sydney striker nodded in from close range.

Just five minutes later and the Jets were ahead thanks to Virgili.

Veteran Michael Bridges played the winger behind through the heart of the Victory defence and Virgili rounded goalkeeper Keegan Coulter before sliding his effort into an open net for his sixth youth league goal of the campaign.

Stella was at the centre of the Victory’s best chance to equalise 10 minutes into the second half.

His through ball released Cristaldo down the right, but the attacker’s side-footed shot was well saved.

With 18 minutes remaining, Mitchell Oxborrow almost doubled the Jets lead but had his shot from inside the area kept out by Coulter’s feet.

Cristaldo wasted a fantastic one-on-one opportunity with a quarter of an hour to play.

Jesse Makarounas’ 25-yard free-kick with two minutes to play was palmed away by a diving Solari was the closest the Victory came to equalising in the dying minutes.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Stella 14)
Newcastle Jets 2 (Gibbs 35, Virgili 40)
@ AAMI Park

Melbourne Victory:
1. Keegan Coulter, 3. Milos Ridesic, 4. James Karvelis (2. Christian Cavallo 59), 5. Dylan Murnane, 6. Jordan Brown (12. Anthony Duzel 59), 7. Christopher Cristaldo, 8. Luc Jeggo (c), 9. Jesse Makarounas, 11. Anthony Proia (10. John Buceto 59), 16. Scott Galloway, 18. Francesco Stella
Unused sub: 20. Gian Tapia

Newcastle Jets:
1. John Solari, 2. Michael Finlayson (Willis Nadfalusi 59), 3. Connor Chapman, 4. Nicholas Cowburn, 5. Matthew Bilic, 6. Zenon Caravella, 7. James Virgili, 8. Mitchell Oxborrow, 9. Michael Bridges (c) (14. Mitch Cooper 59), 10. Joey Gibbs (12. Michael Kantarovski 59), 11. Kale Bradbery
Unused sub: 20. Adam Pearce

Yellow Cards: Zenon Caravella (87)