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Surprise road wins for Jets, Heart

By AAP .
16 February 2014 07:33PM EST

THE Newcastle Jets upset the Brisbane Roar 1-0 on Sunday while Melbourne Heart shocked the Wellington Phoenix with a 5-0 hammering.

Instead of Brisbane putting one hand on the minor premiership, lowly Newcastle maintained their grip on the ladder leaders with a 1-0 win at Suncorp Stadium.

The Roar had a chance to kick 10 points clear on top of the table with a victory over a Jets side that was second-last in the competition when it ran out in muggy conditions under previously winless new coach Clayton Zane.

However, Newcastle dug deep to extend their unexpected dominance over the two-time champions and sealed the result with a 59th minute Adam Taggart penalty goal.

The Jets - which had not won in their last seven starts - are now unbeaten in five straight games against Brisbane, a streak that includes three consecutive victories.

Remarkably, Newcastle have lost just twice in 13 games at Suncorp Stadium.

Zane's first win in his fourth game at the Jets helm completed Newcastle's clean sweep of three victories in a season against Brisbane - only the third time in Roar's history that a rival team had been able to pull off the feat.

And it snapped a four-game unbeaten run by Brisbane, who still lead the table seven points clear of Western Sydney Wanderers.

Both sides had their chances but the deadlock was broken when Japanese referee Takuto Okabe - on an exchange program - pointed to the spot after Shane Stefanutto fouled Josh Brillante.

Taggart - who combined with James Virgili to constantly threaten Brisbane - struck truly to give the visitors the lead, and all but silence the 13,066-strong Roar faithful.

The Roar would have fancied their chances of at least equalising against a side that had leaked 11 goals in their last four matches.

Brisbane's German import Thomas Broich - in his 100th game - tried to spark his out-of-sorts side which threatened to equalise, only for substitute Henrique to hit the post in the 81st minute.

Newcastle welcomed back marquee striker Emile Heskey from a back strain but did not unveil newly-signed Socceroo David Carney.

Earlier, Wellington Phoenix dropped out of the A-League playoff spots after being annihilated 5-0 by Melbourne Heart.

Needing a win to leapfrog sixth-placed Sydney following the Sky Blues' victory over Perth on Saturday, the Phoenix turned in one of their worst performances of the season to fall out of the top six.

Heart striker David Williams bagged a hat-trick - the first ever by a Heart player - as the Melbourne side notched their first victory on New Zealand soil and broke a 22-away game winless streak.

Orlando Engelaar also scored for the visitors in the first half, while Phoenix keeper Glen Moss capped off a disappointing day when Robbie Wielaert's 54th minute strike came off the bar and rebounded off his back into the goal.

The Phoenix, wearing special charity strips, looked flat from the start and were two goals down inside 19 minutes.

Engelaar's fiercely struck opener on nine minutes was his first goal for the Heart and came after Mate Dugandzic's initial strike came back off Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante.

Engelaar, back in the side after suspension, then turned provider 10 minutes later when his quickly taken free-kick found Williams who chipped Moss who for some reason had rushed right to the edge of his area.

The Phoenix battled hard for the remainder of the half looking for a breakthrough but all too-often the final pass was lacking under the constant pressure from the Heart defence.

Phoenix playmaker Carlos Hernandez was industrious throughout but couldn't shake the attention of Patrick Gerhardt to really create anything.

Leading goal-scorer Stein Huysegems was also well-marshalled by Jason Hoffman, while Melbourne keeper Andrew Redmayne was equal to everything sent his way.

Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick brought on Matt Ridenton for Jason Hicks at the start of the second half but it didn't stop the flow of goals.

The Heart doubled their 2-0 halftime lead when Williams slotted home his second six minutes into the second spell.

Wielaert made it four with some help from Moss three minutes later. Williams completed his hat-trick in the 63rd minute when he curled his long range shot past Moss and in off the post.

It was Williams' fifth goal in three games. Heart substitute Stefan Mauk had a chance to make it six goals for the visitors in the dying minutes but Moss tipped his effort over the bar.

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