Brisbane Roar have continued Newcastle’s miserable start to the season, winning 2-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium on Wednesday night to condemn the Jets to a fourth successive defeat.
While it wasn’t the Roar’s prettiest performance, they did enough to secure consecutive wins and jump into third spot on the A-League ladder.
It’s the first time in six years the Roar have won consecutive games.
The Roar went ahead in just the sixth minute through Japanese import Riku Danzaki.
Afforded too much space by the Jets, the 20-year-old midfielder unleashed with a long-distance strike that deflected off Newcastle defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley and over the head of hapless goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
The Jets grabbed a deserved equaliser in the 38th minute when Valentino Yuel scored his second goal of the season.
The former Western United marksman rose high to head home a dangerous corner from Ramy Najjarine.
The Roar regained the lead in the 61st minute via Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who also netted for the second time this campaign.
The beneficiary of a great pass from former Socceroos attacker Scott McDonald, Wenzel-Halls finished sweetly a low angled drive into the corner of the net.
“It was ugly, but on the road, three points, we’ll go back to Brisbane happy,.” Wenzel-Halls told Fox Sports.
It was an eventful night for Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke, who was making his A-League debut in place of the injured Jamie Young, who is out for up to six weeks after hurting his knee at training.
The Jets weren’t afraid to pepper Freke with a host of dangerous corners and crosses.
And while not entirely convincing in dealing with some high balls, Freke a sound debut.
“I think he did very well in the first half,” former Socceroos goalkeeper and Fox Sports expert commentator Mark Bosnich said.
“He’s got to be careful not to get into the habit of trying to punch everything.”
There was one potentially horror moment in the second half when an attempted Freke clearance went straight to Jets defender Connor O’Toole.
But Freke recovered to save O’Toole’s shot.
It was another frustrating night for Newcastle striker Roy O’Donovan, who remains stranded of 49 A-League goals.
The Irishman, who returned to the Jets midway through last season after falling out of selection favour with then Brisbane coach Robbie Fowler, has now gone five games across two seasons, including four matches this campaign, without a goal.
Perhaps low on confidence, O’Donovan failed to get his foot to a low cross early in the contest from inside the six-yard box.
He did force a good save out of debutant Roar goalkeeper Macklin Freke in the 25th minute, but it was otherwise another quiet night for O’Donovan, who was replaced with 12 minutes of normal time remaining.