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2019-20 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Nikolai Topor-Stanley (12')
  • Roy O'Donovan (74')
  • Neil Kilkenny (29' PEN)

Topor-Stanley wonder goal as Newcastle stun Perth

Newcastle coach Carl Robinson is focusing on building performances and not an unlikely A-League finals run after the Jets' 2-1 upset of second-placed Perth at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley is a contender for goal of the year and Roy O'Donovan scored the winner as the Jets defeated the Glory on Saturday in Newcastle for the first time since 2011.

Newcastle, 10th before round 21, move to 18 points - provisionally eight behind the top six.

The Jets remain long shots to make the finals with seven games to play but the win will revive hopes.

However, Robinson was looking at building his style of play after his first win in charge.

"I focus on performance and I did that in the first three games and we've been unbeaten in three," Robinson said. "I don't get caught up in that, because what I see is development of a team that's going to play slightly different and they want to play that way. They want to enjoy the ball."

The Jets' winner came in the 74th minute when Bobby Burns' cross found O'Donovan for the crucial touch at point-blank range.

New signing and substitute Bernie Ibini played his part on debut, deflecting the cross into O'Donovan's path.

It was deserved finish for Newcastle, who had the better of chances in the second half.

Veteran defender Topor-Stanley put Newcastle ahead in the 12th minute with a 30-metre thunderbolt into the top-right corner of goal.

Perth equalised in the 29th minute, via a Neil Kilkenny penalty, after VAR found a handball from Jets captain Nigel Boogaard.

The Jets, though, prevailed and Topor-Stanley's goal was the highlight.

"Super strike," Robinson said. "I've not seen a goal like that for a good while - certainly not from a centre-back, so great strike. I'm pleased for him, but his job is to defend and he defended very well."

The result ends the Glory's 10-game unbeaten run.

Perth coach Tony Popovic said the game was lost in the first half, when he believed they were "clearly the dominant side" and "should have been two or three up at halftime".

"The first half was probably as good as we've played in a little while, so it's disappointing not to get the points when you play so well away from home," Popovic said. "This is one of our most-difficult trips, with travel and then getting a bus, heavy surface. I thought the boys were exceptional first half. Second half, we looked a little fatigued - so did they."

Robinson was pleased with his side in the second half.

"I made some adjustments in there at halftime and I asked them to play slightly different and build slightly different and they did, and I think we were the much better team in the second half and got the goal we deserved."