Strong start for United in Geelong


Ash Bolt

It was a successful start to Western United’s run of games in Geelong, as it defeated Newcastle in the FFA Cup last weekend.

In front of 1127 fans at GMHBA Stadium, Western United scored twice to beat the Jets 2-1 and claim a spot in the FFA Cup’s final 32.

Newcastle looked in control for most of the first half, but strong defensive work from Ben Garuccio limited any chances on goal until Angus Thurgate’s shot just after the half-hour mark left the Jets thinking they had scored.

It inspired the Jets, with United keeper Jamie Young called on several times to keep the scores level.

Just as it looked like the sides would head into the interval locked at 0-0, Lachie Wales popped up to open the scoring for the home side, slotting into an empty net after an error from Jets goalkeeper Jack Duncan.

After the break, an early sighter from Dylan Wenzel-Halls forced Duncan into a good save, with United immediately getting on the front foot in search of a second goal.

But the Jets level just after the hour, with Daniel Penha thundering in a free-kick from outside the penalty box.

Substitute Dylan Pierias thought he had United back in front in the 76th minute when he diverted Aleksandar Prijovic’s header into the back of the net, but it was called offside.

However it was just three minutes later that Prijovic latched onto a long ball from captain Alessandro Diamanti and put United in front.

United was then able to hang on for the win, with Young making two saves in the final five minutes.

Western United will be back at GMHBA Stadium today as it kicks off its A-League season with a clash against Melbourne Victory.

Almost 13,000 fans will be allowed to watch in-person, with the state government allowing the game to go ahead with 50 per cent of the stadium filled.