Sport Football Newcastle Jets fly high to beat league-leading Roar

Newcastle Jets fly high to beat league-leading Roar

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Instead of Brisbane putting one hand on the minor premiership, lowly Newcastle maintained their grip on the A-League ladder leaders with a 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday.

The Roar had a chance to kick 10 points clear on top of the table with a victory over a Jets side that was second-last in the competition when it ran out in muggy conditions under previously winless new coach Clayton Zane.

However, Newcastle dug deep to extend their unexpected dominance over the two-time champions and sealed the result with a 59th minute Adam Taggart penalty goal.

The Jets – which had not won in their last seven starts – are now unbeaten in five straight games against Brisbane, a streak that includes three consecutive victories.

Remarkably, Newcastle have lost just twice in 13 games at Suncorp Stadium.

Zane’s first win in his fourth game at the Jets helm completed Newcastle’s clean sweep of three victories in a season against Brisbane – only the third time in Roar’s history that a rival team had been able to pull off the feat.

And it snapped a four-game unbeaten run by Brisbane, who still lead the table seven points clear of Western Sydney Wanderers.

Both sides had their chances but the deadlock was broken when Japanese referee Takuto Okabe – on an exchange program – pointed to the spot after Shane Stefanutto fouled Josh Brillante.

Taggart – who combined with James Virgili to constantly threaten Brisbane – struck truly to give the visitors the lead, and all but silence the 13,066-strong Roar faithful.

The Roar would have fancied their chances of at least equalising against a side that had leaked 11 goals in their last four matches.

Brisbane’s German import Thomas Broich – in his 100th game – tried to spark his out-of-sorts side which threatened to equalise, only for substitute Henrique to hit the post in the 81st minute.

Newcastle welcomed back marquee striker Emile Heskey from a back strain but did not unveil newly-signed Socceroo David Carney.