Heskey double sinks Victory

Friday, 26 October 2012 9:35 PM

Newcastle star Emile Heskey registered his first Hyundai A-League brace as he capitalised on two chances in three second-half minutes to see the Jets defeat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

Melbourne's strategy of a back five, with Mark Milligan effectively man-marking Heskey, looked like it proved successful with the former Liverpool front man limited in the first half.

However, a cross from Josh Brillante and a Ruben Zadkovich corner laid the platform for Heskey's goals in the 54th and 56th minutes.

The Jets held on for their third straight win despite Archie Thompson pulling a goal back late on.

The visitors handed new signing Nathan Coe a spot in goals replacing Tando Velaphi while Jonathan Bru started in place of the injured Gui Finkler.

For Newcastle, there was some surprise when James Virgili, who was lively in last week's win against Central Coast, was relegated to the bench in place of Ben Kantarovski.

Taylor Regan missed out for Brillante.

Melbourne started sharply with Marco Rojas forcing a save from Mark Birighitti inside two minutes.

The lively Rojas was back in the action in the 19th minute when he combined with Marcos Flores but was unable to find Thompson for the opener.

After 25 minutes, the Jets had their first significant chance.

Kantarovski had a good run blocked by Melbourne skipper Adrian Leijer just outside the penalty area.

Leijer was cautioned for the tackle, but Zadkovich was unable to make the most of the chance, curling his free kick just past the post.

Victory looked the more dangerous of the two sides in the first half with Rojas, Thompson and Adama Traore all having good chances.

Newcastle started the better in the second half and had opportunities, notably to Ryan Griffiths, before 34-year-old Heskey's quick double.

A deflected Brillante cross fell into Heskey's path and the striker made no mistake with his finish to make it 1-0.

He doubled his team's advantage just two minutes later when, after a scramble in the area, he was left unmarked to hook an effort over his shoulder and past a helpless Coe.

Thompson gave the Victory a chance to get back into the match in the 71st minute when a failed Tiago Calvano clearance fell to the Socceroo, who nodded into the bottom corner.

Seven minutes later, Thompson miscued a cross from substitute Theo Markelis as Ange Postecoglou's side tried to keep the pressure on.

Thompson was the best outlet for the Victory in the second half but they couldn't create clear-cut chances.

Heskey was replaced late on but it was his brace which proved to be the difference between the teams.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Heskey 54, 56)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Thompson 71)
Bet365 Man Of The Match Emile Heskey
Crowd: 13,912 @Hunter Stadium

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