Sydney FC kicked off 2023 with a win against the Newcastle Jets in the Hunter.
It was a quickfire double from Adam Le Fondre and Robert Mak that paved the way for the Sky Blues and they held onto the lead, ensuring they started the year with three points.
Newcastle Jets 0 def. by Sydney FC 2 (Le Fondre 37’, Mak 41’)
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED:
MAX BURGESS TESTS DUNCAN – 13’ – The first opportunity of the game falls to Max Burgess who drives down the wing and fields a strong shot at Jack Duncan who holds on well.
RENO PISCOPO TESTS REDMAYNE FROM DISTANCE – 35’ – Piscopo uses the wind to his advantage but Redmayne does well to palm it over the top.
ADAM LE FONDRE OPENS THE SCORING – 37’ – On the counter attack, Sydney FC swarm in numbers and Diego Caballo curls a beautiful cross to the back post where Adam Le Fondre volleys home.
ROBERT MAK MAKES IT TWO – 41’ – Some swift feet from Robert Mak creates space for himself and he hits one with the outside of the boot and beyond Jack Duncan.
BURGESS DENIED SYDNEY’S THRID – 62’ – Max Burgess with some nice footwork inside the box creates an angle for the shot and Duncan gets down well to save and then react well to deny Adam Le Fondre from picking up the scraps.
REDMAYNE SAVES WELL TO KEEP THE CLEAN SHEET IN TACT – 90+2’ – From a tight angle, Newcastle Jets have a shot and Andrew Redmayne does well to prevent it crossing the line by smothering low using his body.
It was a very hot Sunday in Newcastle as Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets kicked off 2023 for the Isuzu UTE A-League. With both sides wanting to improve on their current table position, they looked to set the record straight on this January 1st clash with a number of fans in attendance from both sides.
From the get go, Sydney FC looked very deadly on the counter attack as they sat in and absorbed the Jets pressure. Max Burgess had the first chance of the match when he drove forward on the right hand side, and tested Jack Duncan in the Jets goal who did well to hold onto the ball.
Moments later, he repeated the trick, however once again, Jack Duncan was behind it and the scores remained level.
As the Jets continued to probe for a chance, they looked to try their luck from distance as Reno Piscopo fielded a long-range effort toward Andrew Redmayne who extended and tipped over the top.
Not long after, Sydney FC found themselves in front thanks to their number nine, Adam Le Fondre.
Diego Caballo was fed by Anthony Cacerers and once he attacked the space, the Spaniard spotted Adam Le Fondre lurking un-marked at the back post and delivered him an inch perfect cross which he volleyed home to the delight of the travelling Cove.
The Cove barely had time to collect themselves before it was a second, this time from the boot of Robert Mak. A well taken throw-in found it’s way to Caceres and Robert Mak was then found in space in the box. The Slovak turned very well, beating his defender and striking with the outside of the boot into the far corner and past Jack Duncan.
As the teams switched ends in the second half, it was more of the same narrative with Sydney FC defensively solid and the Jets unable to break through.
The first chance of the second half came from Max Burgess who was found with a delightful long ball which he controlled, and after some quick feet, created an angle for a shot which Duncan did well to save. Adam Le Fondre very nearly was on the scene to tap in the re-bound, however a quick thinking Duncan knocked it behind for a corner.
Moments later, Max Burgess took advantage of a Mark Natta slip on halfway and with Robert Mak alongside, he was indecisive with his final decision, allowing Jordan Elsey to track back and get the block in with Duncan looking beaten.
As the heat sapped much of the contest, Sydney FC’s subs added some more urgency to the pitch and Adrian Segecic almost had a goal instantly off the bench. He was found un-marked at the back post by Robert Mak however the youngster couldn’t keep his volley down and it flighted over the top of the crossbar to the Jets’ relief.
As the Novocastrians continued to probe for their goal, Sydney FC’s defence held strong and despite a late free-kick from former Sky Blue Brandon O’Neill, and a tight angle shot from Jordan Elsey, they were able to hold out, notching their first clean sheet of the season.
For Steve Corica, he now looks to the visit of Wellington Phoenix as Sydney FC jump up to fifth on the table.
What They Said:
Steve Corica: “A lot of positive to take from that, but Tto start the year with a clean sheet and three points, that is the most important thing for me.
“Defensively we were very very good today. The Jets like to get numbers forward and today I thought we defended really well and hit them on the counter attack a couple of times too. We could have even got another goal or two from that.
“I think today you saw how good defensively Rodwell is. He has a great touch on the ball and can build up the play. It shows how much of a leader he is, coming into the side and putting on a performance like that. He’s only going to get better with the more games he plays.”
Newcastle Jets: 1. Jack DUNCAN (GK), 2. Dane INGHAM, 4. Jordan ELSEY, 8. Beka DARTSMELIA (18. Daniel STYNES 84’), 9. Beka MIKELTADZE, 10. Reno PISCOPO, 11. Jaushua SOTIRIO (7. Trent BUHAGIAR 62’), 17. Kostandinos GROZOS (6. Brandon O’NEILL 62’), 25. Carl JENKINSON © (19. Callum TIMMINS 76’), 32. Angus THURGATE (3. Jason HOFFMAN 76’), 33. Mark NATTA.
Unused Subs: 20. Michael WEIER (GK), 5. Matthew JURMAN.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 2. James DONACHIE, 6. Jack RODWELL (29. Aaron GURD 77’), 8. Paulo RETRE (16. Patrick YAZBEK 71’), 9. Adam LE FONDRE, 11. Robert MAK (28. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH 87’), 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Diego CABALLO, Max BURGESS (19. Adrian SEGECIC 71’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©.
Unused Subs: 20. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 12. Patrick WOOD, 25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI.
Yellow Cards: Anthony Caceres 79’, Rhyan Grant 90+4’.
Red Cards: None
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Alireza Faghani