The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defeated the Central Coast Mariners 2-1 in a pre-season trial match at Scully Park in Tamworth on Sunday afternoon.
A brace from winger Craig Goodwin secured victory for Newcastle in what was their final pre-season hit-out before they commence their 2013/14 Hyundai A-League campaign.
The Jets had a golden opportunity to open the scoring inside the first minute, with James Virgili being put through on goal by a delightful ball from Michael Bridges.
However, Virgili could only strike his first time effort straight at Liam Reddy, with the Mariners keeper parrying the ball around the post for a corner.
Scott Neville provided a sign of things to come in the 10th minute of the contest, when he slid a pin-point low cross into the penalty area for Goodwin.
Goodwin stretched out his left boot, but could only manage to deflect the ball over the crossbar while under pressure from the Mariners’ defence.
Goodwin made no mistake when presented with a similar opportunity in the 19th minute.
Neville once again found himself in plenty of space on the right flank before whipping in a perfect cross that enabled Goodwin to strike a sweet half-volley past Reddy with his right boot.
Neville and Goodwin combined again for the Jets’ second goal just four minutes later.
The former Perth Glory right-back swung in another delightful delivery that picked out Goodwin’s run to the back post, with the recently capped Socceroo meeting the cross with a powerful diving header that gave Reddy no chance.
Goodwin almost turned from goal-scorer into provider in the 28th minute, with his in-swinging corner to back post finding Kew Jaliens, only for his goal-bound header to be deflected behind for a corner.
Bridges was the next Jets player to have a sight of goal, with his snap shot from the edge of the area sliding just wide shortly before the half-time interval.
The Mariners went close to getting a goal back shortly after the break, with Kiwi international Michael McGlinchey firing a shot just across the face of goal.
Jets captain Ruben Zadkovich almost extended the Jets’ lead in the 61st minute, when he curled a feee-kick around the Mariners wall a forced a good save from Reddy at his near post.
Despite the Jets’ continued pressure, it was the Mariners who struck next, with Brent Griffiths finding the back of the net with a powerful header from a corner in the 65th minute to make it 2-1.
Second half substitutes James Brown and Andrew Hoole combined in the 78th minute with a neat one-two creating space for Hoole in the box, however the Young Socceroo was unable to hit the target from an acute angle.
The Mariners pushed hard for an equaliser in the final stages of the match, but some staunch defending from the Jets ensured they secured the victory.
86' Two crucial blocks from Taylor Regan to stop the Mariners equalizing
Newcastle Jets 2 (Goodwin 19’, 23’)
Central Coast Mariners (Griffiths 65’)