United strike early, Jets grounded in A-L

The Newcastle Jets' A-League losing streak has stretched to six matches as Western United collected a tight 1-0 away win.

MARK RUDAN.
MARK RUDAN. Picture: Elias Rodriguez/Getty Images

An opening-minute goal proved enough for Western United to earn their second A-League win in four days and consign the Newcastle Jets to a club record-equalling sixth defeat in succession.

The struggling Jets went into the match without a win since February, while United were coming off the back of a rousing midweek victory over high-flying Melbourne City.

Pre-match expectations - in the opening exchanges at least - were met as Lachie Wales scored for United after just 36 seconds, setting a new mark for the league's newest club.

Dylan Pierias set up Wales with a perfect pass through a sleep-walking Jets defence as the home side made a disastrous start, one that ultimately proved costly.

That goal ended a run of four away defeats for the Melbourne-based side outside Victoria.

"The pleasing thing is that we grinded out the result, after we were poor for most of the first half," said Western United coach Mark Rudan.

"It is very important (to win outside Victoria), and it is pleasing because we know we are capable of it."

After Wales's early strike the visitors quickly forced Jets custodian Lewis Italiano into two sharp saves, but from that moment on it was the home that had the better of the first half.

Newcastle created plenty of half-openings throughout the match but turning those periods of play into goals continued to prove elusive for the embattled Jets, who have now failed to score more than one goal in a match for 10 rounds.

"It is just the quality of what we do in the final parts of the field," said Jets coach Craig Deans.

"It is a case of when we get our opportunities, taking them, and we don't do it enough."

The Jets will be seeking to avoid a new mark of seven successive defeats when they face bottom-side Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

"If you look at the (players') attitude and response after we went one down, I don't think anyone at the stadium would say they don't care or they didn't work hard enough," Deans added.

The A-League's assist king Alessandro Diamanti again started on the bench and showed flashes of trademark skills when he came on just after halftime, but it was Pierias who seemed to have set up another goal midway through the half.

Besart Berisha swept home Peirias's low cross but the A-League's greatest marksman was denied by VAR's intervention, having narrowly strayed offside.

Ten minutes later Berisha was again denied, this time by an Italiano block as the contest opened up at both ends in the latter stages.

There was a noteworthy moment in the dying minutes as midfielder Syahrian Abimanyu came on for Newcastle, becoming the first Indonesian to feature in the A-League.