Victory upset by Jets

Marko Jesic has marked his starting debut with an 85th-minute goal as the Newcastle Jets claimed their first home win of the season, a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium.

Marko Jesic has marked his starting debut with an 85th-minute goal as the Newcastle Jets claimed their first home win of the season, a 1-0 defeat of 10-man Melbourne Victory at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

With three draws from as many starts in Newcastle this campaign, the Jets’ first-half dominance of possession and one-man advantage for the final 32 minutes after Archie Thompson’s dismissal looked set to come to nothing as Victory defended stoutly.

In front of 11,384 fans, the Jets found their way into Victory’s box 23 times in the first 45 minutes, but were unable to convert any of that advantage on the scoreboard, including a missed penalty from Edmundo Zura.

Fresh from beating Perth Glory 4-0 a fortnight ago at home, and having beaten the Jets 5-0 at Telstra Dome earlier this season, Victory were looking to maintain their unbeaten record on the road so far this campaign.

And while Thompson was handed a straight red card in the 58th minute by referee Matthew Breeze for dissent, his team looked set to hang on for a point with a better display after the break despite the resulting disadvantage.

That was until substitute Jin-Hyung Song’s cross was only partially cleared by Michael Thwaite, with the ball pushed forward again by Adam D’Apuzzo for Jesic to brilliantly volley home on the turn, leaving goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos stranded.

Victory earned a corner inside the first minute but just 60 seconds later it was the Jets who almost went ahead, with Theoklitos making a reflex save from Jesper Hakansson’s attempt after the Dane’s long ball was played back to him by Zura.

Matt Thompson had a chance for the hosts in the sixth minute only to be denied by Kevin Muscat, and a minute later Theoklitos was called on again to block Ben Kantarovski’s header, with Grant Brebner then on hand to deny Jobe Wheelhouse on the rebound.

The visitors’ first good opportunity fell to Billy Celeski on eight minutes when Evan Berger and Carlos Hernandez teed him up on the edge of the Jets’ penalty box but Celeski’s attempt was picked up comfortably by a diving Ante Covic.

Four minutes later and a superb defence-splitting pass from Tom Pondeljak set up Danny Allsopp but the league’s leading scorer so far in 2008/09 hit his shot on the bounce, under pressure from Matt Thompson, well over the bar.

The Jets continued to apply the pressure and in the 19th minute Jesic forced another good save from Theoklitos, the shot-stopper turning the ball past the left post after Jesic completely miscued his first attempt.

Still on the attack and the home side won a penalty in the 31st minute when Hakansson’s blast from the front of the penalty area crashed into Rody Vargas’ right arm, but Zura struck the left post with his spot kick after beating a diving Theoklitos.

Hakansson received the game’s first yellow card in the 35th minute for dissent after disputing the fact that his claims for a penalty for handball against Matthew Kemp were waved away.

After swapping Thwaite for Kemp, the second half began encouragingly for Victory when a quick ball forward deflected into the path of Hernandez and off one step from 20m he forced Covic to touch the ball over the bar.

Thompson’s red card saw Victory coach Ernie Merrick bring on Nick Ward in place of Hernandez soon after, before a double change from the Jets with D’Apuzzo and Song replacing Adam Griffiths and Hakansson.

In the 71st minute Victory forced a fine clearing header from Jade North from a free kick, and with 14 minutes remaining Joel Griffiths made his return from a hamstring injury at the expense of Matt Thompson.

Just after Griffiths’ introduction, Muscat’s clearance of D’Apuzzo’s cross fell for Jesic but he blasted a metre wide, before in the 82nd minute Song and Griffiths combined on the edge of Victory’s box but Song’s shot was pouched by a well-positioned Theoklitos.

With six minutes remaining Leigh Broxham replaced Brebner and soon after the Jets grabbed the lead when Jesic made it a memorable starting debut by firing home the winner.

Newcastle Jets 1 (Jesic 85′)
Melbourne Victory 0
Saturday, 18 October 2008
EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 11,384

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS (13. Adam D’APUZZO 69′), 3. Jade NORTH (c), 5. James HOLLAND, 6. Jesper HAKANSSON (10. Jin-Hyung SONG 69′), 8. Matt THOMPSON (9. Joel GRIFFITHS 76′), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 16. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 23. Edmundo ZURA, 24. Marko JESIC
Substitutes not used: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk)
Yellow cards: Jesper Hakansson 35′, Marko JESIC 90+1′
Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 7. Matthew KEMP (3. Michael THWAITE 46′), 8. Grant BREBNER (18.Leigh BROXHAM 84′), 9. Danny ALLSOPP, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15. Tom PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ (22. Nick WARD 64′), 19. Evan BERGER
Substitutes not used: 20.Mitchell LANGERAK (gk)
Yellow cards: Evan Berger 79′
Red cards: Archie Thompson 58′