Melbourne City FC has extended its lead atop the A League ladder with a comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.
A first half deflected Andrew Nabbout strike had City 1-0 up, before Captain Scott Jamieson's first goal for the Club and a standard Jamie Maclaren finish had the home side cruising towards victory, the Jets eventually pulling one back in the 87th.
Rostyn Griffiths returned to the starting centre back role after missing last weeks away trip to Macarthur, with Aidan O’Neill making his second start at the base of midfield since returning a couple weeks ago.
Melbourne started full of running and controlled possession throughout the entire affair. Crisp, short triangle passing was a joy to behold from a purists’ point of view, however a resolute Jets defence refused to make it easy for the ladder leaders.
Craig Noone was very busy in the opening stanza with a plethora of balls into the box and it was a snap shot from Connor Metcalfe on 26 minutes that cannoned off the upright that saw City go closest to an early lead.
The switch of wings for Nabbout and Noone reaped instant rewards as Nabbout drove down the left-hand side and curled a shot via Johnny Koutroumbas’ leg into the back of the net for Melbourne’s first.
City remained in control as the half drew to a close but were unable to capitalise on their dominance. The second half began in a similar vein and it was a moment many City fans have been yearning to see that solidified the Melbourne stronghold. Skipper Scott Jamieson drove to the top of the box and after riding the defenders challenge, picked out the right-hand bottom corner of the net and sent City two to the good.
It marks Jamieson’s first goal since joining the club in 2017 as the skipper nears the Club record for most games played set by David Williams.
Noone went close to a third just moments later, forcing a quality save from Italiano but it was a delightful release for Andrew Nabbout after 70 minutes that was squared to goal scoring phenomenon Jamie Maclaren that saw City net their third and effectively put the game to bed.
Steven Ugarkovic was able to claw a goal back late in the contest to add some respectability to the scoreboard from a Jets perspective as Melbourne made it nine wins and two draws from their last twelve and extended their lead out to 4 points with a game in hand at the top.
City has a chance to extend its lead at the top again next Wednesday May 5 at 9.20pm (AEST) as they travel to Perth Glory for what is bound to be a spicy encounter, before returning home to take on Brisbane next Sunday.