Newcastle Jets wrapped up their preseason with a stunning 4-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday.
Dimi Petratos (seventh minute), Nigel Boogaard (16th), Ronny Vargas (19th) and new striker Kaine Sheppard (89th) hit the target as the Jets dominated throughout, much to the delight of a midday crowd of 1600.
The Jets made the most of the carpet-like surface and moved the ball with pace and power.
It was the same style of football that took them all the way to the grand final last season.
Petratos and Vargas were menacing, Matthew Ridenton and Nick Cowburn controlled the midfield and Boogaard and Nikolai Topor-Stanley won everything at the back.
New boys Jair, Mitch Austin and Kaine Sheppard played the final 25 minutes and looked sharp. Sheppard turned in an Austin cross to complete the scoring. The Brazilian unlucky not to score from a low cross which was well saved.
The hit-out was the Jets’ final game before opening their A-League campaign away to Wellington Phoenix on October 21.
Wanderers, who meet Sydney FC in the FFA Cup semi-final next Saturday, were without captain Brendan Hamill and defensive partner Patrick Ziegler and it showed.
The first half was one-way traffic.
After an early scare, the Jets clicked into gear to open a 3-0 lead, and it could have been more.
The visitors should have went ahead in the sixth minute when Josh Sotirio collect a piercing through ball. But with Glen Moss stranded, the winger inexplicably pulled his shot past the left post.
A minute later, the Jets were in front.
Vargas danced into the box, got through a tackle near the byline and cleverly lifted a pass to Petratos at the back post.
The Socceroo did the rest, making good contact with a side-foot volley which took a deflection on the way in to the net.
The Jets made all the running in an entertaining opening 15 minutes highlighted by slick ball movement.
Cowburn, who replaced Ben Kantarovski (hamstring) in midfield, hit a shot from the edge of the box which whizzed past the left post.
Jason Hoffman then cut inside but his effort from 15 metres lacked enough venom to trouble keeper Dan Nizic.
There was little the shot-stopper could do in the 15th minute when Boogaard met a Vargas corner with a powerful header to double the advantage.
Four minutes later is was 3-0. From a turnover, Petratos released Roy O’Donovan on the right. The Irishman had a ton of time to find Vargas, who slid a shot into the net.
Sotirio caused a few problems with his pace in behind, but Glen Moss, bar rushing off the line to haul in through ball, didn’t have a great deal to do.
The second half was more of the same. Hoffman had a shot from point-blank range blocked by Nizic and Cowburn hit the cross bar.
Jets: Glen Moss; Johnny Koutroumbis, Nigel Boogaard, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Daniel Georgievski; Matthew Ridenton, Nick Cowburn; Ronny Vargas; Dimi Petratos, Roy O’Donovan, Jason Hoffman
Wanderers: Dan Nizic; Josh Risdon, Tate Russell, Tass Mourdoukoutas, Raul Llorente; Keanu Baccus, Jordan O’Doherty; Alex Baumjohann; Jaushua Sotirio, Oriol Riera, Roly Bonevacia