The A-League is back for a frantic month of football action to crown a champion for the 2019-20 season. Newcastle Jets are on a roll ahead of a clash with battling Central Coast Mariners.
History: Played 44: Newcastle 16 V Central Coast 13 (15 Draws)
Last meeting: February 9, 2020: Newcastle 4 d Central Coast 3 at McDonald Jones Stadium
Final Thoughts: Newcastle Jets have surged into A-League finals contention immediately after the competition’s restart. Three points from the F3 derby will further enhance their claims to a place in the playoffs.
The Jets stunned runaway leaders Sydney FC 2-1 at Jubilee Oval on Tuesday night. Nick Fitzgerald brilliantly levelled the scores in the 58th minute before Kosta Petratos came off the bench to slot the 90th-minute match-winner.
The upset result gave the Jets four wins from their last five A-League matches. They have lost just one of their last nine. Though still eighth, Newcastle is level with Western United and just three points behind sixth-placed Adelaide.
Last-placed Central Coast returned with a 1-0 loss to Perth at home on Saturday night. It was the club’s 11th straight loss as it gears up to collect a third straight wooden spoon. The Mariners are seven points adrift of the field.
Newcastle boasts six wins and a draw from the last eight F3 derby clashes with Central Coast. The teams drew 1-all in Week 2, with the Jets’ Dimitrios Petratos’ second-half penalty cancelling out Milan Duric’s fourth-minute for the Mariners.
The Jets prevailed in a 4-3 thriller at home in Week 18. Petratos scored a goal in each half.
Newcastle proved they were a new team under incoming coach Carl Robinson before the A-League’s hiatus. They’ve picked up where they left off and will keep applying pressure to the sides above them with another victory on Friday night.