Gold Coast shoot down Jets
Gold Coast United have jumped into fifth spot on the ladder after sealing their first win of the season with a 3-1 defeat of the Newcastle Jets at Skilled Park on Sunday.
Dutchman Maceo Rigters opened the scoring with his first goal for his new club in the 11th minute, before second-half goals to veteran Kristian Rees and boom youngster James Brown ensured an impressive victory.
The Jets had their chances but United - and in particular, former Blackburn Rovers striker Rigters - were far more clinical when it mattered and ended up deserved winners.
Rigters, 27, was by far the most dangerous man on the park in the first half and underscored this with his 11th-minute peach of a goal.
Dylan Macallister laid the ball on a platter for him at the top of the box and Rigters duly obliged, winding up and letting go with a powerful first-time shot that nearly burned a hole into the back of the net, stunning the pedestrian Newcastle defence.
The stout Dutchman fired two subsequent bullets from outside the penalty area - in the 13th and the 21st minutes - and both only just flew over the crossbar with Jets keeper Ben Kennedy clearly beaten.
He continued to bullock the Newcastle rearguard on every forward foray and almost turned provider in the 29th minute, waiting for the perfect moment to unleash Macallister with a through ball before the towering marksman fluffed his lines.
The visitors could have no complaints with the scoreline after misfiring in front of goal, with Ruben Zadkovich blazing wide just two minutes into the contest and United shotstopper Glen Moss making a point-blank save to deny Jobe Wheelhouse after 25 minutes.
After the interval, Rigters wasted little time in picking up where he left off and embarked on a lovely cut and run into the box but couldn't find the target less than a minute into the second stanza.
The Dutchman's influence faded as the half wore on but Gold Coast found other avenues to goal, with one-on-one opportunities from James Brown and Macallister saved by Kennedy.
But the young gloveman made a costly error in the 58th minute.
Kennedy looked like he had Peter Jungschlager's long-distance free-kick covered, but fumbled his save and veteran United defender Rees pounced on the rebound.
Ten minutes later, though, the Jets hit back with a set-piece goal of their own.
Ryan Griffiths' free kick somehow avoided a sea of bodies around the penalty spot and landed in the lap of Wheelhouse, leaving him with the simplest of finishes to make it 2-1.
Dead-ball situations were seemingly in vogue on this particular Sunday afternoon with Rees agonisingly close to an unlikely brace two minutes later, hitting the post after some clever interplay with Macallister.
But the hosts eventually confirmed the result through Brown in the 83rd minute, with his cool finish past Kennedy giving him his third goal of the season - and United a much-needed three points.
Gold Coast United 3 (Rigters 11, Rees 58, Brown 83)
Newcastle Jets 1 (Wheelhouse 68)
Crowd: 2974 @ Skilled Park