English like conditions greeted the two combatants on the first Sunday afternoon of 2016 and it was an English international, former Liverpool star Natasha Dowie who was the difference between the two sides.

Dowie’s classy chip goal in the 13th minute against the run of play give the Victory their 2nd win of the season and handed the Jets finals hopes a massive blow.

The Jets were once again dominate in the opening minutes threatening to open the scoring on a number of occasions.

It’s been a familiar story for the Jets all season, they have what is both on paper and out on the park one of, if not the quickest and potentially dangerous attacks in the league. They have consistently got into good goal scoring positions but have been unable to find that killer finish in the front third despite having the players capable of doing so.

It has at times hurt them throughout the season and on the weekend it hurt them once again.

Having survived the early onslaught, it was the Victory, who despite their dismal season so far, who showed that it’s not the chances you create that wins you games, it’s the chances finished.

Once the Victory had the lead, they were a different side.  Once again their experienced players came to the fore with Hayley Raso and Dowie dangerous up front and keeping the Jets' defence occupied.

Christine Nairn was at her best as the commander of the midfield while Thea Slatyer, makeshift centreback Gulcan Koca and Melissa Barbieri were stellar as the Victory recorded their first clean sheet of the season.

Mature performances from mature players are expected but the performances of the quickly improving group of youngsters would be pleasing to the coaching staff.  Mel Taranto's defensive midfield work, Mindy Barbieri's pace on the wing and ability to cut inside, Annabel Martin at right full back all contributed to the win and all continue to improve week after week.

For the home side, Chloe Logarzo was one of the best performers. The attacking midfielder again appeared to have much time to move the ball around and created a number of chances including a long range shot in the 21st minute that sent Barbieri scrambling to the right.

Captain and full back Gema Simon was also consistent in her play providing several perfectly weighted crosses only to see the opportunities go begging.  Dydasco again was everywhere in the midfield, plugging gaps, breaking up play and providing the ball to Logarzo.

It wasn't the Jets' best performance but it certainly wasn't their worst. Regardless, more dropped points leave them now scrapping with three other teams for the last two finals berth.

One of those teams is Sydney FC whom they face on "must win" trip to the Olympic Stadium.

Newcastle Jets 0

Melbourne Victory 1 (Natasha Dowie 13’)

Sunday 3 January 2016

Hunter Stadium, Newcastle

Kick-off: 2pm

Referee: Rebecca Durcau

Newcastle Jets: Hannah Southwell (gk), Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Megan Oyster, Caprice Dydasco, Cassidy Davis (Sophie Nenadovic 80’), Gema Simon (c), Tara Andrews, Rhali Dobson (Adriana Jones 63’), Chloe Logarzo, Jenna Kingsley (Clare Wheeler 63’), Hannah Bromley

Substitutes – Claire Coelho (gk)

Cautions – Sophie Nenadovic 84’, 87’

Red Card - Sophie Nenadovic 87’

 Melbourne Victory: Melissa Barbieri (gk) (c), Alexandra Natoli, Melissa Taranto (Cindy Lay 93’), Annabel Martin, Enza Barilla (Whitney Knight 89’), Christine Nairn, MelindaJ Barbieri (Adriana Taranto 83’), Thea Slatyer, Hayley Raso, Gulcan Koca, Natasha Dowie

Substitutes – Cassandra Dimovski (gk)

Cautions – Annabel Martin 43’, Hayley Raso 83’