NEWCASTLE Jets have been defeated 2-0 by Sydney FC in their first pre-season trial ahead of the A-League season.
A brace from John Aloisi handed the Sky Blues victory in front of a healthy crowd at Port Macquarie Regional Stadium.
Understandably, Sydney came out looking the sharper of the two sides as the Jets set out their stall to find their feet. This was evident in the sixth minute when Aloisi latched onto an errant pass deep inside Newcastle territory, the former Socceroo then calmly slotted home his strike when one-on-one with goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.
The Jets regrouped with vigour, however, and began maintaining the bulk of possession through a fluent passing game. Indeed, Newcastle went on to dominate the remainder of the opening stanza and looked by far the more dangerous of the two outfits.
On 24 minutes, Dutch striker Donny de Groot went close to levelling matters as he got on the end of a wonderful Matt Thompson cross. His header, whilst powerful, was pushed inches wide of the goal with Clint Bolton beaten.
Moments later and Bolton made a superb double-save to keep Sydney's lead intact. The Sky Blues' custodian first denied de Groot's fierce strike from the edge of the area, and then made an instinctive block on Jin-Hyung Song's point blank follow-up.
Despite their dominance, the Jets were unable to break down a resolute Sydney backline, led by the unflappable Simon Colosimo. Sydney, on the contrary, were reduced to counter-attacking football until the beginning of the second half.
Aloisi sealed his double on 53 minutes when he tapped home a fine Alex Brosque cross, after the dynamic winger broke swiftly down the left touchline. It was a lead that the Sydneysiders would maintain for the remainder of the match.
The Jets did push on, looking for their first goal on the NSW Mid-North Coast, but shots from distance by substitute Jason Naidovski and Adam D'Apuzzo whistled narrowly over the bar.
Assistant Coach Mark Jones explained after the game that the trial proved to be a valuable hit out as the Jets begin their pre-season preparations.
"I thought we actually played alright, we've got a lot of boys who haven't played for a long time," he said.
"I thought we lasted the game quite well. We had a couple of glorious opportunities that we should have taken and apart from our own defensive errors, I don't think that we were broken down too many times and I was quite happy with that."
"Today was quite positive, obviously after the season we had last year anything new is going to bring an air of optimism about it. So, despite the result, we can take quite a bit out of this match moving forward," Jones concluded.