In the first A-League match played in Coffs Harbour, Newcastle Jets have jumped into the top six with a gutsy 2-1 win over Melbourne City on Friday night.
After absorbing a wave of City possession in the opening stages, Newcastle took the lead inside 15 minutes with Andrew Nabbout punishing the visitors on the counter-attack with a well-taken goal.
City continued to dominate possession as the first half progressed but wasteful finishing and some resolute Jets defence saw the hosts maintain the advantage at the interval.
Newcastle started the second half the brighter and doubled the lead with Andrew Nabbout punishing the visitors on the counter-attack with a thumping long-range effort.
City settled and gave themselves a chance with Bruno Fornaroli pulling a goal back from the penalty spot with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Newcastle created a number of chances to kill the game off in the latter stages but it mattered little as they managed to hold on for a thoroughly deserved victory.
1-0 Newcastle Jets: Andrew Nabbout, 14’
Ma Leilei picked the ball up in the middle of the park before playing a delightful ball in behind for Nabbout with the winger showing great composure to round Dean Bouzanis and slot into an empty net.
2-0 Newcastle Jets: Andrew Nabbout, 52’
A sloppy turnover from City saw Andrew Hoole surge forward with the attacker squaring the ball to Nabbout, who took a touch before riffling a thumping drive into the bottom corner from 25 metres.
2-1 Melbourne City: Bruno Fornaroli, 69’
City were awarded a spot kick after a clumsy challenge by Nabbout on Josh Rose and Fornaroli made no mistake from 12 yards, firing a powerful strike past Jack Duncan.
With his side struggling to break down a resolute Jets defence, City winger Bruce Kamau had a golden chance to restore parity just 10 minutes before the break. The ball fell to Kamau inside the penalty area but the youngster hesitated and allowed Jets defender Lachlan Jackson to slide in and clear the danger.