Mabil hat-trick fires Reds
Adelaide United have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season after completing a stunning two-goal comeback to defeat Newcastle Jets 3-2.
Adelaide United have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season after completing a stunning two-goal comeback to defeat Newcastle Jets 3-2 in their National Youth League encounter at Burton Park on Saturday.
Newcastle raced to a 2-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes following Marko Jesic's penalty and Kale Bradbery's tap-in before Adelaide - sporting a total of seven first-team players - turned the game on its head courtesy of Awer Mabil's superb 13-minute hat-trick.
Mabil struck his first in the 27th minute when he drove a thunderous angled shot into the net before equalising proceedings only three minutes later.
The tricky winger capped off his hat-trick and a remarkable turnaround for the hosts with an identical finish to his first strike.
Adelaide's senior contingent of Jon McKain, Zenon Caravella and Sergio van Dijk were impressive in the win that leapfrogs the Baby Reds above the Jets into fourth spot.
Newcastle took the lead on 10 minutes when Jesic powerfully dispatched a spot-kick after United goalkeeper John Hall had brought down the striker just inside the area.
Caravella lived dangerously when he lingered on the ball deep in defence and paid the price when he was robbed of possession by Jesic.
Jesic struck a shot with venom at Hall, but the gloveman could only parry to the feet of Bradbery, who poked home the visitors' second on 15 minutes.
Stunned by the double blow, Adelaide pressed hard to reduce the deficit and pulled a goal back when McKain slid a pass into the path of Mabil who had cut into the Jets' box.
Mabil had time to settle before driving the ball into the opposite corner.
The 17-year-old was at it again when he met the ball first for a simple tap-in to level proceedings after McKain's long-range shot was fumbled by Newcastle custodian Aleks Vrterski.
Caravella should have given the hosts the lead in the 35th minute after Mabil's clever through ball, but Vrteski did his best to make the veteran second guess himself whether to shoot or round the gloveman.
The former Gold Coast United midfielder delayed and eventually worked his way around Vrteski only for Jets defender Taylor Regan to scurry to the line and block his shot.
The missed opportunity mattered little when the menacing Mabil rounded out his hat-trick on 40 minutes.
Mabil tore through the Jets' back four after streaming down the right wing before again striking the ball into the far corner, giving Vrteski no chance.
Jesic had two opportunities to rescue a point for Newcastle in the second half but neither landed on target.
Adelaide United 3 (Mabil 27, 30, 40) Newcastle Jets 2 (Jesic pen 10, Bradbery 15)
Adelaide United: 1. John Hall (gk), 3. Jordan Elsey (c), 4. Daniel Bowles, 5. Scott Nagel (15. Jacob Melling 49), 7. Liam Wooding (8. Thomas Briscoe 59), 9. Zenon Caravella, 10. Dion Kirk (12. Jake Barker-Daish 57), 14. Awer Mabil, 16. Antony Golec, 17. Sergio van Dijk, 18. Jon McKain
Newcastle Jets: 1. Aleks Vrteski (gk) (20. Nicholas Hartnett (gk) 45), 3. Mason Campbell (c), 3. Taylor Regan, 4. Sam Gallaway, 5. Luke Remington (12. Michael Finlayson 45), 6. Nicholas Cowburn (13. Nicholas Pepper 56), 7. Mitch Cooper (14. Bobby Russell 59), 8. Jacob Pepper, 9. Kale Bradbery, 10. Marko Jesic, 11. James Brown