Newcastle Jets edge Wanderers to break A-League drought


Newcastle have celebrated their first A-League win of the season, beating Western Sydney Wanderers 2-0 on a pitch coach Ernie Merrick likened to a carpark.

Before Friday's kick off groundstaff were required to help clear the Spotless Stadium playing surface which had shards of plastic bottles and other debris on the surface.

A close range 25th minute Jason Hoffman strike gave Newcastle the lead and Ronald Vargas confirmed the outcome by scoring from a slick counter attack in added time at the end of the second half.

Wanderers created the majority of clear cut chances but couldn''t find their way past the veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss and a resilient Jets defence.

But the big talking point was the state of the ground.

Wanderers players trained at the stadium on Thursday and reported no issues then, a day before the ground's first A-League fixture of the season.


However, the heavy winds which have lashed Sydney over the past couple of days are believed to have blown litter on to the ground.

"I'm not sure if you could call it a football pitch, it's more like a carpark," Merrick told, Fox Sports after inspecting the ground before kick off and finding a screw.

The venue was used for a concert last Saturday and the pitch was inspected and cleared by the Wanderers and league officials on Tuesday.

Irrespective of any debris, the pitch looked less than perfect with brown tinges in some areas amid different shades of green.

Before Hoffman's goal Moss produced a super save to deny Abraham Majok and then preserved the visitors lead by twice foiling Oriel Riera and stopping another Majok effort.

Bruce Kamau and Riera were off target with close range headers and the Jets defenders scrambled well to block a number of shots.

It wasn't all way one traffic, as Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic pulled off a smart block to deny Hoffman inside the first couple of minutes of the second half.

He then foiled two shots in quick succession from Vargas, who eventually had the final say.

Source AAP