,March 14 - Alex Wilkinson's first A-League goal for Sydney FC not only earned the champions victory over Newcastle Jets on Saturday, it has given Steve Corica's side a boost ahead of next week's clash with bitter rivals Melbourne Victory. Wilkinson's downward header sealed Sydney's 2-1 come-from-behind win, giving the side back-to-back wins for only the second time this season as their title defence took time to ignite. It was a rare goal for the 36-year-old club captain, who had only previously netted in the Asian Champions League for Sydney since joining from Melbourne City in 2016. "It's nice when I do score one. It was a pretty bad header but somehow it managed to creep its way in and I'll take it," said the former Jeonbuk Motors defender. "More important was just to get the three points. "We did enough in that game to win it, if not by one then by a few more. It was disappointing to go behind in the first half but credit to everyone we regrouped at half time." The win moves Sydney up to fourth ahead of Sunday's games, seven points behind surprise leaders Central Coast Mariners. It follows the club's victory over Western United on Wednesday and sets Steve Corica's side up for their meeting with Victory on Saturday. Known as "The Big Blue", the clash between the two clubs remains one of the highest profile fixtures in the A-League calendar, even though Melbourne are currently struggling at the foot of the table. "The Big Blue's a fantastic rivalry that has been built up since the start of the A-League, but especially these last four or five years," Wilkinson said. "We've played Melbourne Victory in a lot of important games, and the table position really doesn't matter in games like that. "We've got to concentrate on ourselves and not worry too much about them. Play the way we have been playing, finish our chances and I'm confident we can get the three points." Sydney will go into the game off a week-long break and Wilkinson is relishing the rest. "Throughout this season, because of COVID, there's going to be situations where every team has short turnarounds," he said. REUTERS
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