Western Sydney Wanderers have stretched their winning run to five games after seeing off Newcastle Jets 2-1 in the A-League on Saturday.
Goals to Youssouf Hersi – his third in two games – and a wonderful solo effort from Mark Bridge separated the teams before Newcastle skipper Ruben Zadkovich pulled one back late before a crowd of over 10,000.
The Wanderers leapfrog Melbourne Victory into second spot, four points behind leaders Central Coast.
Their string of victories is the longest in the A-League this season, surpassing the Mariners’ four-game burst earlier in the campaign.
And on the evidence of this performance, it may be some time yet before the red and blacks drop points.
They always looked the more likely of the two teams, with the Jets rarely threatening.
Newcastle’s Emile Heskey had the best of the early chances, his effort from near the penalty spot squirming over the crossbar after Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s intervention in the 19th minute.
Hersi was proving his usual lively self at the other end and carved out an opportunity deep in the half.
Receiving the ball wide on the right from Jerome Polenz, Hersi took off before cutting the ball back to Shinji Ono.
Ono immediately switched the ball to an unmarked Bridge inside the box but his goal-bound shot was deflected wide by a brilliant left-foot save from Jets keeper Mark Birighitti.
But a minute into time added on the Hersi made it count.
Ono’s free-kick fell to the Dutchman inside the box and he stabbed a sharp shot that Birighitti could only block, the ball freewheeling in the air and spinning back inside the right post.
The goal not only brought the house down, but it also led to a fence collapse as delirious fans in the Red and Black Bloc celebrated wildly with the goal scorer.
Hersi left to a standing ovation in the 78th minute and five minutes later was on his feet applauding Bridge’s super goal.
The striker took the ball just over the halfway mark, turning defender Josh Mitchell inside out before unleashing a thundering right-foot drive into the top left of the net.
Ruben Zadkovich scored deep into injury time but it was too little, too late for the Jets.
Earlier, Melbourne Heart defeated Perth Glory 2-0 at AAMI Park, thanks to goals in each half from Nick Kalmar and Eli Babalj.