Lift off! Jets impress with win over Roar
NEWCASTLE have moved into the A-League top six for the first time this season after scoring a solid 2-0 win over Brisbane.
Making his first league start, rookie Kaine Sheppard gave his team the lead with a close-range tap-in to net his first career goal deep into first half injury time on Sunday.
Then attacking import Jair sealed the win when he thumped a shot in the top right corner to finish a three-on-two counter-attack in the 58th minute.
The goal drew an emotional celebration from the Brazilian, who hadn't scored in 11 appearances in China and had yet to break his duck in six A-League games.
The 30-year-old's last goal came for the Jeonnam Dragons in September, 2017. More importantly, the win for the Jets - their second in three weeks - lifts them above Western Sydney, Wellington and the Roar into sixth spot on the ladder.
The win followed coach Ernie Merrick making changes from the side pumped by Melbourne City last week after losing Jason Hoffman and Lachlan Jackson to injury.
Brisbane counterpart John Aloisi made one alteration, moving striker Adam Taggart to the bench due to a groin issue that had bothered him during the week.
The Roar's leading goalscorer eventually came on with 20 minutes remaining, but it proved too late as the Jets comfortably closed out their second victory.
Brisbane's best chance of the first half came when Matt McKay's lofted ball was missed by Eric Bautheac and forced a late scramble from goalkeeper Glen Moss.
The shot sparked the Jets into action, with a Dimi Petratos free kick sailing just over the crossbar just minutes before Sheppard's memorable moment.
The former Avondale FC attacker coolly latched onto a no-look cross from Daniel Georgievski to beat Jamie Young at his near-post with his left foot.
The victory before a crowd of 9719 was the Jets' fourth straight over Brisbane - the first time they have achieved the feat against any rival in club history. The Roar now drop to ninth with just one win from their opening seven games.