City beat Jets, extend A-League lead

Melbourne City are now four points clear at the top of the A-League after working their way past Newcastle 3-1 at AAMI Park.

SCOTT JAMIESON.
SCOTT JAMIESON. Picture: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Captain Scott Jamieson's first A-League goal in more than six years has helped Melbourne City beat Newcastle 3-1 and extend their lead at the top of the table to four points.

The A-League frontrunners were a point ahead of Sydney FC and Central Coast heading into Thursday night's clash at AAMI Park and pushed past a resolute opening half-hour from the Jets' defence for a relatively comfortable victory.

City broke through in the 32nd minute when Andrew Nabbout charged down the left wing, cut onto his right and lashed the ball towards the back post - with Johnny Koutroumbis attempting to block the shot but instead deflecting it into his own net.

They doubled their lead in the 59th minute when Jamieson played a one-two with Adrian Luna then went on a mazy run and dinked a lovely shot off the post and into the bottom corner.

It was Jamieson's third ever A-League goal, his debut strike in four seasons at City and his first since scoring for Perth Glory against Western Sydney in November 2014.

"It'll be the first and last time (we hear about it from Jamieson) - we'll shut that down very quickly," coach Patrick Kisnorbo joked.

"What I was happy about most was the way it happened - the combine play, the way we linked, we created space and on this occasion it was 'Jamo' that got the reward.

"I'm sure we'll hear about it a bit more after tonight."

Ten minutes later, Griffiths launched a brilliant long cross-field ball for Nabbout, who squared it for Maclaren to tap home at close-range.

Maclaren's 20th goal for the season was also his 47th for City - drawing him level with Bruno Fornaroli as the club's all-time leading goalscorer - and his 99th in the A-League.

Last-placed Newcastle, whose winless run extended to 11, snared a consolation goal in the 87th minute.

Millar intercepted Florin Berenguer's casual backpass, burst forward and put through Steven Ugarkovic - who slid the ball between Tom Glover's legs.

A "disappointed" Kisnorbo lamented the defensive slip-up but Newcastle counterpart Craig Deans savoured the moment.

"To go 3-0 down and then not throw the towel in and keep working hard and score a goal and make it 3-1 - and still have the energy and the commitment to keep working hard and keep trying to change the game - I can't fault their effort," Deans said.

"It's just the difference in quality that's the difference in the game."