Melbourne City FC will be out to make it two wins from two games when it wraps up its New South Wales trip on Monday night.
With the FFA moving to change a number of fixtures due to the current COVID-19 situation, City will be facing Newcastle away from home, just a few nights after Friday’s match against Central Coast.
While that match didn’t get off to a great start for City, trailing 1-0 just two minutes into the contest, It didn’t take long for City to steady the ship, with Jamie Maclaren equalising a few minutes later before Markel Susaeta had the visitors ahead on the ten-minute mark.
After a quiet few weeks in front of goal, Maclaren finally found some opportunities and his confidence was back, finding the back of the net again early in the second half after Nathaniel Atkinson’s pass somehow made its way through the Mariners defence.
Jordan Murray headed home his second to have the Mariners back in the contest at 2-3 with over 20 minutes still to play but Maclaren completed his hattrick just five minutes later to wrap up an important win.
Monday’s opponents Newcastle were also in action on Friday night, suffering a disappointing 1-0 draw in Brisbane against the Roar.
Scott McDonald’s 16th minute goal was enough to separate teams as the Jets were unable to register a shot on target over the course of the 90 minutes.
This result came less than a week after a resounding 0-3 victory against Adelaide United where Newcastle looked nothing like the team that had won just four matches for the season going in.
The Jets now sit ninth on the ladder and will be focused on finishing the season strongly and making an unlikely push for sixth spot.
Their biggest challenge on Monday will be containing Maclaren who now has his tail up with four goals in two games now seeing him lead the race for the golden boot.
Newcastle’s defence has been strong in recent weeks, with its defensive unit led by Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Nigel Boogard allowing just four goals in its last five games.
Caretaker coach Patrick Kisnorbo will be hoping from more of the same from City’s attack after it fired 24 shots, including nine on target, at a resilient Mark Birigitti on Friday night.
Last time they met
These teams have already met once this year, with the round 15 January matchup ending in a 2-0 City win. A first half goal to Craig Noone before a Maclaren penalty in the second was enough to take the three points.
After also beating the Jets 0-4 away from home in December on the back of an Adrian Luna brace, City will be looking for a clean sweep of the season on Monday night.
It's an unchanged squad in this week's Team News.
What was said
Melbourne City FC assistant coach Patrick Kisnorbo
“Geographically it helps (playing two game so close together) but obviously it’s a bit difficult with the small squad that you have to play within the next three days. We’ll do the best that we can and try to recover the players as best that we can moving into Monday’s game.”
City will be back at home on Friday 27 March to host Adelaide United at AAMI Park, kick-off 7:30pm.