A goal to Brazilian import Bernardo Ribeiro has seen the Newcastle Jets maintain their spot in the top four of the National Youth League with a 1-0 win over the second-placed Melbourne Victory at Wanderers Oval on Sunday afternoon.
Ribeiro was a constant threat for the Jets and slotted the decisive goal in the 18th minute as the home side controlled play forcing the Victory to attack on the counter.
Melbourne eventually worked their way back into the match in the back end of the second half and created a number of good chances to grab a share of the points but the Jets held on to claim an important win.
The three points sees Newcastle move to third place on the ladder on 19 points alongside the Melbourne Heart and just two points behind the Victory who maintain second place behind runaway leaders Central Coast.
The Victory had a golden opportunity to open the scoring in the seventh minute when Connor Pain broke into space down the left wing before taking the ball into the area and squaring to Christopher Cristaldo who somehow stabbed his shot wide from just six yards out.
The Jets missed an equally prime chance just a few moments later when Ribeiro and Kale Bradbery combined well down the left to set up Marko Jesic, who spooned his shot over the crossbar from 10 metres out.
Ribeiro was creating plenty of problems for the Victory defence and his curling effort from the edge of the area in the 17th minute forced Melbourne goalkeeper Tando Velaphi into a fine fingertip save.
The Brazilian was on target just a minute later when he took a sharp pass from Jesic and slotted past Velaphi from 15 metres out to give the Jets a 1-0 lead after 18 minutes.
The home side continued to apply the pressure and went close to doubling their lead on the half hour mark when Jesic and Ribeiro slid a pass out for Jacob Pepper to shoot narrowly wide from an acute angle inside the box.
The visitors looked like they might hit back just a minute later when James Jeggo streaked into space in the middle of the park and took the ball into the area before sliding a pass to an open Cristaldo in front of goal but Jets defender Luke Remington swooped to intercept the pass.
Another chance to Jesic and a low shot from Andrew Hoole that was well saved by Velaphi finished the half as the Jets went to the interval leading 1-0.
Newcastle maintained their momentum after the break with Mitch Cooper sending his leaping volley over the bar just five minutes after the resumption before midfielder Mitchell Oxborrow had a long-range effort saved by substitute goalkeeper Philip Petrovski, who had replaced Velaphi at half-time.
Jets substitute Radovan Pavicevic had a chance to put the game away for the home side in the 70th minute when he swooped on a loose ball after Jesic had dispossessed Victory defender Dylan Murnane but he sent his shot over the crossbar from inside the area.
Melbourne looked set to equalise just a few moments later when Pain got on the end of a pinpoint pass right in front of goal but he had his shot smothered by substitute goalkeeper Jack Duncan.
Duncan was called upon to again maintain his side's lead in the 80th minute when substitute striker Luke O'Dea produced a weaving run into the box before firing a low shot toward goal where the Jets custodian got down low to save with his outstretched leg.
The Victory continued to finish with a flourish and had a late claim for a penalty turned down when substitute winger Theo Markelis steamed into the area onto a slide pass from John Buceto only to be tackled heavily by Remington who was adjudged to have got to the ball first.
Melbourne had one final chance right on the stroke of full-time when right-back Jason Geria pushed a lovely ball through for Buceto but the pacey forward pushed his right-footed shot just wide of the far post as the Jets hung on for a hard-fought win.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Ribeiro 18)
Melbourne Victory 0
At Wanderers Oval, Newcastle
1. Ben Kennedy, (20. Jack Duncan 61min), 2. Jacob Pepper, (13. Radovan Pavicevic 62min) 3. Mason Campbell (capt), 4. Nicholas Cowburn, 5. Luke Remington, 7. Andrew Hoole, 8. Mitch Cooper, (12. Michael Finlayson 62), 9. Marko Jesic, 10. Bernardo Ribeiro, 11. Kale Bradbery (14. Bobby Russell 62min).
Tando Velpahi (20. Phillip Petrovski 46min), 2. Matthew Foshini (14. Sam Gallagher 45min)
3. Jason Geria. 4. Petar Franjic. 5. Dylan Murnane. 6. Luc Jeggo (capt) (19. Luke O'Dea 58min), 7. Christopher Cristaldo (13. Theo Markelis 58min), 8. James Leggo, 9. Kwabena Boahene, 10. Connor Pain, 11. John Buceto.