The Jets take on Weston on Tuesday night. Picture: Todd BlackwellJets coach Ernie Merrick was happy with the hitout but said his side looked “rusty” in a 2-0 win over NPL club Weston on Tuesday night.
Striker Roy O’Donovan looked sharp on debut for Newcastle andfinishedoff a fine team goal in the 15th minute to open the scoring.
Daniel Georgievski, playing at Weston Park in his first game since the A-League grand final, looked classy at left back, and Dimitri Petratos showed flashesof quality.
But Merrick was not exactly thrilled with his side, even if theywere only two weeks into pre-season, had trained Tuesday morning and“weren’t fresh”.
“Blowing out the cobwebs. A bit rusty. Patches of good play,” he told the Herald after full-time.
“Some boys are still getting used to the way I want to play. Clean sheet, scored two goals, hit the crossbar.
“I think we should have done better, though, but I’m always expecting better.
“I have to say the Weston boys put up a really good battle and were probably unlucky not to score.”
Steve Piggott’s young Bears are last in the NPL but showed plenty of discipline and were far from disgraced.
The first goal came when right winger Petratos cut back in and floated a left-ball ball to Andrew Nabbout, whose neat half-volley cutback found O’Donovan for a tap-in.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley should have scored 20 minutes later with a free header at the far post, but the ball ballooned over the bar.
Petratos hit the bar with aleft-foot drive after being well picked out by impressive youth team centre back Pat Langlois.
He then rounded keeper Kane Runge with delightful footwork to put the Jets up 2-0 early in the second half before Merrick replaced most of his starting side.
The Jets were missing centre back Lachlan Jackson, midfielder Devante Clut and defender Nick Cowburn on Olyroos duty. Steven Ugarkovic and Nigel Boogaard were out injured.
Jets starting team: Duncan; Hoffman, Langlois, Topor-Stanley, Georgievski; Koutroumbis, Kantarovski, Brown; Petratos, O’Donovan, Nabbout.