A-League: Jets go down to Perth as hoodoo stretches another year

ON THE SPOT: Perth players congratulate Neil Kilkenny after the midfielder opened the visitors’ account with a penalty in the clash against the Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday. Picture: Darren Pateman (AAP)

The Newcastle Jets will have to wait another year to try and end one of the biggest hoodoos in the A-League after they were stung 2-0 by Perth Glory at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday.

A controversial penalty which was converted by Neil Kilkenny in the second minute and an opportunist goal to Jason Davidson in the 25thminute was enough to seal the visitors three points and keep them unbeaten at the top of the ladder.

The Jets controlled large periods of the game. They pushed and probed, created opportunities but couldn’t convert.

Jair caused the Glory the most problems and could have scored ahat-trick on another night.

Instead, the Jets succumbed to a third defeat at home and slipped out of the top six.

It has been seven years since the Jets last beat Perth in Newcastle –a2-1 triumph onNovember 5, 2011.

They don’t host the West ns again this season, with the two remaining games to be played at nib Stadium in round 16 and 25.

The homes side led all the key statistics, bar the most important one.

They created 22shots to four, had 59percent of the ball and won the majority of duels but found themselves 2-0 down.

Merrick rewarded the XI that got the job done 2-0 against Brisbane, which meant Jason Hoffman returned from a back injury on the bench.

For the visitors, Joel Chianese came in for Diego Castro (hamstring).

In an incredible opening, Jair could have put the Jets ahead after 12 seconds with a volley but was denied by a reflex save from Liam Reddy.

Thirty seconds later, the Glory were awarded a penalty whenGlen Moss was ruled to have bundled over Chianese after he wrong-footed the Jets keeper on the slippery surface. Contact appeared minimal.

The VAR reviewed the call but agreed with referee Stephen Lucas.

Kilkenny sent Moss the wrong way with the spot kick;

Jair nearly put the home side on level terms in the 17thminute when he got in front his defender to meet a cross from Daniel Georgievski. Hemade good contact with a header but itcrashed into left post.

The Brazilian went close again four minutes later, forcing a diving save from LiamReddy.

The chances kept piling up for Jets, but it was the visitors who struck next in the 25thminuteafter a mistake from Moss.

Tomislav Mrcela lobbed a header into the six yard box. Moss climbed over a mess of bodies to take the ball but it spilled from his hands and Jason Davidson was on the spot to slot home.

Merrick introduced Jason Hoffman for Ivan Vujica in the 37thminute and went to Merrick reverted to a back three with Ben Kantarovski dropping from midfield.

The move nearly boughtinstant success.

Dimi Petratos played the right fullback in but his angled shot from 10 metres couldn’t beat Reddy.

The Jets continued to push and probe against a Perth back five but could find a killer blow.

Kantarovski had a half chance in the opening minute of the second half when lunged to at a ball over the top.

Hoffman then glanced a header wide and Daniel Geogievski lifted a shot over the bar as the Jets’ frustration started to build.

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