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2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Nikolai Topor-Stanley (12' OG)
  • Dylan Pierias (69')

Western Utd climb into A-League top six with victory over Newcastle Jets

Western United have moved into the A-League's top six after recording a 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets on Monday night.

Despite their opener coming off the boot of Jets' defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, the hosts appeared comfortable throughout the match and have secured points in three consecutive games for the first time this season.

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Confronting suspensions to Brendan Hamill and Tomislav Uskok, United coach Mark Rudan moved to a four-player defence, with Olyroo hopeful Dylan Pierias pushing into midfield in response.

Ahead of them, Victor Sanchez proved an important steadying presence in the middle of the park as his side condemned the bottom-placed Jets to their 10th game without a win.

The work of that midfield pairing was key in United's second goal. The two combined with Aaron Calver in the Jets' box to work Perias into space for a nicely-taken finish in the 69th minute.

Asked early questions by Lachlan Wales and Alessandro Diamanti, the Jets had first cracked in the 12th minute when the latter freed the former down the left.

Cutting inside, Wales drove a low cross inward for Besart Berisha but, before it could reach him, Topor-Stanley's attempt to clear inadvertently put the ball past goalkeeper Lewis Italiano.

It was almost 2-0 in the 27th minute, only for the linesman's flag to deny Berisha after he had headed home a Diamanti free kick.

Defender Lachlan Jackson almost levelled proceedings with a headed effort cleared off the line by Berisha in the 66th minute only for United, perhaps noting a nascent shift in momentum, to soon march up the other end and double their advantage through Pierias.

United's win, however, was soured by an injury to Socceroo defender Josh Risdon, who hobbled off after potentially reaggravating a leg injury that has restricted him to just three appearances.