2020-21 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Stefan Colakovski (9')
  • Archie Goodwin (23')
  • Apostolos Stamatelopoulos (89')

Newcastle Jets beat Melbourne City to avoid A-League wooden spoon

Newcastle Jets condemned Melbourne Victory to their first wooden spoon after downing Melbourne City 2-1 in the A-League's regular season finale.

A long-range thunderbolt from 16-year-old Jet Archie Goodwin cancelled out Stefan Colakovski's early opener before a late Apostolos Stamatelopoulos header secured the three points at Netstrada Jubilee Stadium.

The win moved Newcastle off the foot of the table to avoid their fourth wooden spoon in club history, leaving Victory with a bottom place finish instead.

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"I think we've had a tough year with lots of things going on but I think looking at the results we've been in every game for most of the year," Jets' coach Craig Deans, who took charge for the last time, said. "I don't think we deserved to finish last.

"The main objective [tonight was] not to finish last but also, same as every game, go in and try to win it."

Already secure as premiers, City's night was marred by potential injuries to defender Rostyn Griffiths and attacker Andrew Nabbout.

Starting in place of absent Socceroo Curtis Good, Griffiths pulled up after an innocuous chase down in the 17th minute and was immediately substituted off.

Nabbout, returning from a torn adductor suffered less than a month ago, looked in clear discomfort after knocking a volleyed pass forward in the 41st, limping to the half-time whistle before being replaced.

City will now sweat on the pair's fitness ahead of their home semifinal next week, which has been shifted from Friday to Sunday to allow more fans to attend.

"Andy was always due to play between 30 and 45 minutes, just easing him back in, so we'll assess him," City assistant Des Buckingham said. "Rostyn just felt a little bit tight so I don't think it's anything too serious, more precautionary."

But in more positive news for coach Patrick Kisnorbo, Nathaniel Atkinson got through 45 second half minutes unscathed as he returned from a long-term hamstring injury.

City started strongly when Adrian Luna ran onto a long ball in the ninth minute before whipping it across goal so that Colakovski could prod it home to open the scoring.

However, Goodwin restored parity in the 23rd minute when he received a slick backheel from Lucas Mauragis in space and bent in a 25-yard screamer.

Neither side was then able to trouble the goalkeepers until the dying seconds of the 90 minutes when Stamatelopoulos, rising to meet a Mauragis free kick, sent a glancing header into City's net.

Moments later, goalkeeper Jack Duncan produced a superb save to deny Atkinson and secure the win for the Jets.

"We've been trying a couple of different things in preparation for finals," Buckingham said. "We've certainly had a look at a few things over the last couple of weeks.

"It's now about trying to prepare ourselves... to put ourselves in the best position [for the semifinal]."