Melbourne City FC has suffered a disappointing 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday night.
Despite a relatively even opened 45 minutes, the Jets had the lead at half-time after a stoppage time goal to Nick Fitzgerald.
Florin Berenguer found an equaliser for the visitors in the 70th minute but the game was quickly back on Newcastle’s terms when Steven Ugarkovic scored just eight minutes later to secure the three points for the hosts.
With the match coming just three nights after Friday night’s win over the Mariners, Patrick Kisnorbo made three changes to his starting XI. Curtis Good, Berenguer and Craig Noone were all rested and started on the bench with Rostyn Griffiths, Connor Metcalfe and Lachie Wales coming into the starting line-up.
It was a lively opening to the fixture with both teams looking to attack and get forward despite there being no big chances early.
City’s midfield got on top quickly with the likes of Josh Brillante and Connor Metcalfe controlling proceedings while Nathaniel Atkinson looked to attack down the right.
Newcastle put pressure on the City defence by putting a few dangerous balls into the area but the pairing of central defenders Rostyn Griffiths and Harrison Delbridge were up to the task.
A pair of shots from Jets attackers Fitzgerald and Dimitri Petratos tested Tom Glover in the 36th minute, but he dealt with the efforts comfortably while Roy O’Donovan’s bicycle kick minutes later flew just over the bar.
Lachie Wales had a chance to open scoring late in the first half after a creative run through the Jets defence, but his curling effort was inches wide of the post.
Just minutes later, Fitzgerald did what Wales couldn’t and opened scoring after a nicely placed ball from Petratos played him in on goal.
City had majority of the possession in the second half but couldn’t create a scoring chance until the 70th minute.
After being subbed on, Berenguer found Noone with a ball out wide before the winger crossed towards the back post.
The cross perfectly met Berenguer’s run after he’d found enough space to free himself up to get an open header which he put into the back of the net.
The game wasn’t level for long with Newcastle again taking the lead, this time through a long-range strike from Ugarkovic.
Glover did well to get a hand to the midfielders attempt but couldn’t do enough to keep it out of the back of the net.
Fitzgerald had a chance to put the game out of City’s reach in the 85th minute but Glover moved quickly to his right to pull off a huge save.
City pushed late for a goal but couldn’t find a way through a resolute Jets defence, as the hosts held firm to secure the three points.