Match Report: Wanderers 1 – Newcastle Jets 2


The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have tonight been defeated by the Newcastle Jets, 2-1, in front of 9011 fans at Parramatta Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have tonight been defeated by the Newcastle Jets, 2-1, in front of 9011 fans at Parramatta Stadium.

The Wanderers drew first blood but the Jets returned serve with two first half goals and managed to hold on throughout the second stanza.

Coach Tony Popovic was extremely happy with the performance but could tell how dejected his players were after the match.

“I-m pleased with the performance but it-s one of those nights where we probably deserved at least one point, if not three,” Popovic said. “We restricted them to just one shot on target in the second half but we just need to put away our opportunities.”

“Tonight showed that you can dominate a match and not be rewarded with the points but we-ll keep working hard.

“We haven-t been outplayed by any team in this league but tonight they got the points.”

The home side had just the one change to the starting 11 with Captain Michael Beauchamp being ruled out due to illness. He was replaced by Italian Iacopo La Rocca who made his starting debut for the side.
The opening 10 minutes saw both sides ease their way into the match with no real opportunities presenting themselves.

It was in the 15th minute when the Wanderers grabbed their first real opportunity with both hands. After a couple of dubious offside calls earlier the red and blacks were not going to be denied on this occasion. It was brilliant lead up work with Dutchman Youssouf Hersi getting the ball to Shinji Ono who showed great skill and cut the ball back to striker Joey who had a tap in goal after smartly getting in front of his opposing defender.

The 27th minute saw the first yellow card given with Croatian midfielder Mateo Poljak the recipient after a nasty tackle with the Jets on the counter-attack.

Just a minute later the Jets answered back levelling the score at 1-all. It was some swift passing in the centre before the visitors pushed the ball wide and it was Scott Neville who crossed the ball in and Ryan Griffiths got his head to the ball and it snuck into the left hand corner much to the disappointment of the home crowd.

10 minutes later the lead was extended through Jets marquee man Emile Heskey. Again it was a small lapse in concentration from the Wanderers defence that saw Heskey put the visitors in front. It was this time on the left with Craig Goodwin sending it into the area with his left boot and Heskey used his strength to get in front of both la Rocca and Nikolai Topor-Stanley and his smart flick was stopped by goal keeper Ante Covic but he pushed the ball into the right upright and it found its way across the line putting the Jets up 2-1.

The remainder of the half was spent with the Jets dominating most of the possession and as referee Brenton Hayward blew the whistle for half-time both sides headed for the rooms keen to hear from their respective Coaches.

As the players came back for the second half it was Popovic who had gone to his substitute bench early with Shannon Cole replacing Poljak. The change saw former Jet Adam D-apuzzo slip into the defensive midfield role and Cole lining up at left back.

The 63rd minute saw both Coaches make substitutes with Popovic electing to bring Dino Kresinger on to replace Gibbs whilst Gary Van Egmond bringing Goodwin from the pitch and James Virgili coming on.
A third and final change was made by Popovic with Tahj MInniecon getting his first start for the Wanderers replacing Hersi in the 74th minute.

The second half saw two great opportunities for the Wanderers but they were unable to convert them with Jets goal keeper Mark Brighitti pulling off two quality one on one saves. The first came in the 59th minute off the boot of Gibbs after a cross sent in held up in the breeze and fell at the feet of the former Marconi man but he couldn-t convert the chance. The second was through Ono after Kresinger got his head to the ball which fell at the feet of Ono and as he flicked the ball up, the hand of Brighitti blocked the shot.

The Wanderers continued to pepper the Jets defence but were unable to break them and the Jets held on for a 2-1 victory.

Newcastle Jets 2 (Griffiths 28-, Heskey 38-) def. Wanderers 1 (Gibbs 15-)

Crowd: 9,011