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ALM: Jets sink Sydney FC to rise from the cellar

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The Newcastle Jets claimed one of its biggest scalps of the A-League Men’s season, accounting for Sydney FC 3-1 at McDonald Jones Stadium.

But, the victory was tempered by rumours suggesting young gun Lucas Mauragis had penned a three-year deal with derby rivals Central Coast Mariners.

The Olyroos hopeful did not take the field against the fourth-placed Sydneysiders on Sunday afternoon 7 April.

However, the positive result lifted the Hunter-based club from the bottom of the ladder, with a couple of matches remaining.

Clayton Taylor celebrates his 19th minute goal with Apostolos Stamatelopoulos. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

Newcastle held its nerve from the kick-off in a fiery encounter, which saw Sydney FC’s Róbert Mak sent from the paddock following a wayward elbow on Jets star Philip Cancar in the 37th minute.

“He came at me first and I was like ‘what’s the problem?’ the defender said.

“I just asked him politely, I didn’t say anything [to antagonise him] but he just kept going.

“And, then, he hit me.

“But, that’s football… it’s nothing personal, however we’ll see what happens.”

Newcastle Jets defender Daniel Wilmering ignites the side’s attack on Sunday afternoon. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

With a cloud hanging over Newcastle’s future in the A-League, Cancar admitted the win could not have come at a better time.

“It’s huge with everything going on with the club… it’s massive for us,” he said.

“I think it’s been nine or 10 games since our last victory, so it’s big for the Jets and the fans.

“They come out and support us, so we try to play for them and the whole region.

“We want to keep going but I guess it’s out of our hands.

“Honestly, it’s difficult to silence the outside ‘noise’.

“However, we try to stay together as a group and as a community.

“We’ll still go about things day-to-day.

“Whatever occurs, we’re going to keep believing.

“We are hoping everything is sorted out soon.”

You beauty: The Newacstle Jets claimed its third win at home in 2023/24 at the expense of Sydney FC. Photo: Michael Gorton Images

The Jets struck in the 19th minute when Apostolos Stamatelopoulos found Clayton Taylor, who made no mistake for a 1-0 lead.

That became 2-0 almost immediately as Reno Piscopo, assisted by Daniel Stynes, landed a right-footed shot from a difficult angle.

The red card to Mak appeared to fire up Sydney FC.

Right on the stroke of half-time, Fábio Gomes reduced the margin to 2-1.

But, unlike previous weeks, Newcastle refused to buckle under the pressure.

Stamatelopoulos extended the hosts’ advantage to 3-1 in the 60th minute, thanks to a VAR decision, which ruled he was onside.

The in-form striker took his 2023/24 tally to 15 goals when he evaded the clutches of rival keeper Andrew Redmayne.

The Jets should have gone further ahead in the 67th minute.

However, a brilliant block by Hayden Matthews denied Taylor, following some smart work by Stamatelopoulos, when Redmayne was out of position.

Newcastle now sits two points ahead of cellar-dwellers Perth Glory and Western United.

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