Melbourne Victory were unable to continue the momentum after beating the Wellington Phoenix a week ago, falling to defeat against the Newcastle Jets away in tough conditions on Sunday afternoon.
Starting debuts for Connor Chapman and Damien Da Silva headlined Melbourne Victory’s Round 16 trip to Newcastle, as fellow January signing Bruce Kamau was listed on the bench for the first time.
Windy and warm conditions greeted both sides, who struggled to find a foothold in the opening 20 minutes.
It was the Victory who produced the more promising looks at goal early on, firstly through Bruno Fornaroli. The struggles the wind would impose was also clear to see, taking the sting out of Victory’s efforts.
Ben Folami and Kadete were next to test Duncan, but again, their chances were unable to cause any real trouble.
Shortly after Victory produced their best chance of the first half – a ball played across the face of Newcastle’s goal which begged for a tap in from Fornaroli – the Jets were awarded a penalty.
Clumsy defending from Roderick Miranda gave the hosts the perfect chance to take a 1-0 lead from the spot, and they took it through Beka Mikeltadze.
An opportunity for Jake Brimmer to try and replicate last week’s effort came inside first half stoppage time, but the wind again was on the side of the home team. His curling shot found the target, but was unable to find the top corner.
In challenging conditions, it was Newcastle who held the advantage heading into the break leading 1-0.
With the wind at their back, it was the Victory who struck first in the second half through Nishan Velupillay.
Velupillay’s driving run and smart finish into the bottom left corner was the forward’s first of the season, paying back the faith from his coaching staff.
Newcastle didn’t take long to respond as Kosta Grozos’ strike stole the lead back for the hosts.
Bruce Kamau made his Victory debut with just under 15 minutes of regulation time remaining.
Ultimately, Victory’s current struggles in front of goal remained prominent, left ruing the numerous chances they created within the 90 minutes.
Victory will look for a solid week in training if they are to bounce back from Sunday’s defeat in next week’s Melbourne Derby.
Nishan Velupillay’s first goal of the season was the highlight of Victory’s day.
Sunday afternoon’s loss to Newcastle takes the Victory to seven points outside of the top six.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 16
Newcastle Jets 2 (Mikeltadze 37′, Grozos 58′)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Velupillay 51′)
Victory return home to take on Melbourne City in the Melbourne Derby on Saturday.