A 20-metre strike from Steve Ugarkovic has given Newcastle a 2-1 win over Melbourne City in what was likely the last match of Australian professional sport for the foreseeable future because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Finally this season, City broke out of Victory’s shadow, showing that there isn’t only one team in Melbourne.
City have been one of strongest teams in the league this season, currently sitting second on the table before the season was put on hold.
Season highlight: Jamie Maclaren
In his first full season for City, Maclaren has been a proven match-winner. Despite having time out through injury, he was still responsible for 52 per cent of the team’s goals, scoring 18 and racking up four assists.
Season low: 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory – Round 11
In the lead-up to this game, City posted a message poking fun at their local rivals for their recent poor form.
Being the favourites coming into the game and then losing was not a good look.
End of season bonus: Connor Metcalfe
The young defensive midfielder has impressed in his 13 appearances this season, scoring two goals and assisting one from a defensive position.
Metcalfe has looked comfortable at A-League level and would be a good player to reward with a wage bonus.
Chopping block: Rostyn Griffiths
Griffiths wouldn’t be chopped based on his form, because he was a solid contributor to the side, but getting him off the books may be needed to cut costs.
Aged 32, he’s at the backend of his career.
Season score: 8/10
Erick Mombaerts got his side playing exciting football. In addition to signing solid veterans, he also gave younger players an opportunity and they repaid his faith.
By far the best Melbourne-based team this season, they’ve broken out of Victory’s shadow and for the most part been impressive.