Wanderers hammer struggling Jets
WESTERN Sydney all but confirmed their finals berth with a 3-0 win as the Newcastle Jets' season continued to unravel disastrously at McDonald Jones Stadium.
Jets coach Mark Jones could find himself under increasing pressure to retain his job this week after another sub-par performance from his side.
The Jets have now lost their past four games and have conceded 15 unanswered goals during that period to see their finals hopes crash for a seventh straight season.
They now find themselves in a dog-fight with Central Coast Mariners to avoid the wooden spoon.
The late season slide has clearly caused drama in the camp with assistant coach Clayton Zane savagely berating Andrew Hoole on the bench following his reaction to being replaced in the second half.
Wanderers have no such issues with defender Robert Cornthwaite scoring twice from headers after his side went into the game without striker Brendon Santalab and attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols.
It was their third straight win with the three points pushing them eight points clear of seventh-placed Wellington, who meet Melbourne Victory in Melbourne on Sunday, needing a win to keep their slim chances alive.
It was the same sorry tale for the Jets in the opening half as they went to the break 2-0 down despite dominating for long periods of the first half.
They had all the momentum but as has been the case for much of the season, failed to convert pressure into goals and ultimately paid the price at the other end of the park.
They had a couple of early chances through Wayne Brown and Daniel Mullen before striker Morten Nordstrand muffed a great opportunity to give his side a deserved lead.
He did all the hard work, turning a defender in the box to put himself one on one with Wanderers keeper Vedran Janjetovic.
But instead of pulling the trigger from 10 metres out, he inexplicably laid off for teammate Andrew Nabbout, only to see Wanderers defender Scott Neville intercept to save the day for the visitors.
Wanderers' opportunities were few and far between in the opening 45 minutes but they made no such mistakes when they finally eventuated late in the half with their two goals coming in the space of two minutes.
Cornthwaite climbed above Nigel Boogaard to head home a Nicolas Martinez cross in the 40th minute before Jaushua Sotirio fired a low shot through the legs of Jets keeper Jack Duncan after Jack Clisby and Jumpei Kusukami worked a perfectly executed set move from a free kick outside the box.
Cornthwaite's second came just five minutes after the resumption, when he again left Boogaard flat-footed to beat Duncan with a perfect header, this time from a Martinez corner for a 3-0 lead.