Sydney FC travelled up the M1 on Wednesday afternoon to take on the Newcastle Jets in a behind closed doors friendly at Maitland Sports Ground, running out 1-0 winners thanks to a first half strike from Jaiden Kucharski.
It could’ve been more for Steve Corica’s side but some strong keeping from Newcastle’s two keepers kept the scoreline at one.
It was a hot spring afternoon up in the hunter and for this clash, Steve Corica again named a strong side. Rodwell partnered Girdwood-Reich at the back with Joel King and Kealey Adamson on the flanks. Max Burgess started out wide on one side with Jaiden Kucharski on the other.
It was a short stint for Luke Brattan who was on the end of a bad challenge within five minutes and was removed as a precaution with a gash on his leg. He was fine afterwards but unfortunate for the central midfielder to miss out on pre-season game time.
After the stoppage, Sydney FC began to take the ascendancy in the contest and created plenty of chances and opened the scoring when Jaiden Kucharski found space on the edge of the box and rifled his effort into the top corner and past Michael Weier in the Jets goal.
The Sky Blues then looked to turn the screw with Max Burgess having an effort blocked, Joe Lolley’s cutback scrambled away from a corner and Anthony Caceres through ball poked away from danger. From one of their corners, the Sky Blues almost added to their lead with Kealey Adamson unable to get over the top of a Jack Rodwell nod down and prodding his effort over the bar.
Joe Lolley continued to look dangerous cutting inside and flashing shots goal-ward along with getting into great positions on the end of great combination play from King, Kucharski and Wood.
Anthony Caceres was up to his usual tricks, covering every blade of grass and did well to deny the Jets with a brilliant last ditch challenge.
Into the second half, it was more of the same with Joe Lolley forcing more good stops from the Novocastrian keeper and the Sydney FC side looking lethal on the counter attack. Moments later, Caceres brought out the best from substitute keeper Ryan Scott, seeing his dipping effort tipped onto the bar and out for a corner.
The best chance of the second half came from the head of Jack Rodwell, attacking a Caceres in-swinging corner, but his powerful header was cleared off the line and away from danger.
As the game neared it’s conclusion, more opportunities were given to new signings such as Zac De Jesus, Mitch Glasson, Matty Scarcella, Nathan Amanatidis, and Academy midfielder, Louis Agosti. Amanatidis was driving forward at every chance he could and was unfortunate not to get a goal off the bench.
Some tidy defending at the end from Aaron Gurd was enough to see out the 90 minutes and give Steve Corica’s side the victory.
They will now turn their attention to the Australia Cup Quarter Final at Leichhardt Oval against Western United on Sunday 17th September.
Newcastle Jets 0-1 (Kucharski 22′) Sydney FC
Starting XI: Redmayne, King, Girdwood-Reich, Rodwell, Adamson, Brattan, Hollman, Caceres, Kucharski, Burgess, Wood
Subs: Lolley, Gurd, Glasson, De Jesus, Scarcella, Amanatidis, Agosti