Roy O’Donovan has steered the Newcastle Jets to a 1-0 win over Western United in the club’s final home fixture of the season.
The Jets started the match strongly, dominating possession, and it was the Irish marksman O’Donovan who opened the scoring in the 29th minute with a header off a brilliant cross from Jason Hoffman, securing his 10th goal of the season.
“We’ve been playing great football, our possession game has been brilliant,” O’Donovan said.
“Last week, what we lacked was the final ball that might have given us the chance to get in the final six.
“We got it right today. I nicked a goal and I’m not sure if it’s going to be enough to get us in the finals but we’ll give it a good go next week anyway.”
After providing the opener, Hoffman went agonisingly close to adding his name to the scoresheet in the 48th minute thanks to a pinpoint cross from Johnny Koutroumbis, but his powerful header sailed just over the bar.
It was a proud moment for the Petratos family in the 82nd minute as brothers Kosta and Maki Petratos joined Dimi on the pitch for the first time at senior level and, in the fifth minute of stoppage time, the three almost combined for the perfect goal.
The Jets held on to secure all three points in their final home outing of a prolonged 2019/20 season, and sent the parochial crowd of 2,507 home happy with a well-deserved victory.
“It was a great game, it had a real edge to it,” O’Donovan said.
“I thought Western United was a bit unlucky to be fair, but I just thought we were the better team and I said it’s a shame we didn’t kick a bit sooner this season.”
Jets coach Carl Robinson said he was happy with the team’s performance, but admits they should have netted more goals.
“We got 60% to 70% right and 30% wrong. Last week, we didn’t score a goal after beating Sydney,” he said.
“Today we scored one and we probably should have scored two or three.
“When you leave a team hanging around who have got quality … they can hurt you. We made it more nervous than we needed to.”
The Jets will now prepare for their final match of the season against Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Thursday 13 August.