The Newcastle Jets’ pre-season friendly at Thomas and Coffey Park saw a fiery 3-1 win to the locals over Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night.
Four players were sent from the field including Newcastle’s Brazilian defender Tiago and former Jets defender Andrew Durante after two ugly incidents marred a good contest.
Wellington had led 1-0 in the first half when Tiago was sent off for a crude challenge, while the Phoenix’s Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat were dismissed in the ensuing melee.
Durante was shown the red card by referee Tim McGilchrist midway through the second half after lashing out with his foot, which saw the teams reduced to 10 against eight.
East Maitland local Ben Kennedy played half an hour in goal for Newcastle, with last season’s player of the year having little to do against the eight man Phoenix.
The match was the Jets first hit-out ahead of the new season against A-League opposition and saw the club return to Thomas and Coffey Park at Weston for the first time since they took on the Bears during last year’s pre-season.
The game was part of a community initiative from the Jets who as well as playing the pre-season fixture at Weston held a coaching clinic at Cessnock Public School on Friday.
On Saturday, Jets players who weren’t involved in the game at Thomas and Coffey Park attended local matches at Kurri Kurri to meet the teams and assist in warm ups.
Newcastle’s pre-season wraps up when they take on Brisbane Roar in Tamworth on September 1 before the A-League season kicks off on October 7 with the Jets hosting Adelaide United at Hunter Stadium.