In the first edition of 'On This Day' we look back at the club’s first match of the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season against arch-rivals Central Coast Mariners.
The first #F3Derby of the season held extra significance as it was the first meeting between the two teams after the Jets’ 1-0 victory in the A-League Grand Final of February 2008.
|Newcastle Jets||Central Coast Mariners|
|1. Ante COVIC (Gk)||20. Danny VUKOVIC (Gk)|
|2. Adam GRIFFITHS||4. Pedj BOJIC|
|8. Matt THOMPSON||5. Brad PORTER|
|5. James HOLLAND||15. Andrew CLARK|
|12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE||18. Alex WILKINSON|
|13. Adam D'APUZZO||6. David D'APUZZO|
|16. Ben KANTAROVSKI||7. John HUTCHINSON|
|9. Joel GRIFFITHS||10. Adrian CACERES|
|10. SONG Jin-Hyung||17. Matthew OSMAN|
|11. Tarek ELRICH||22. Sasho PETROVSKI|
|23. Edmundo ZURA||21. Ahmad ELRICH|
|Coach: Gary VAN EGMOND||Coach: Lawrie MCKINNA|
The game was the first for Newcastle’s new Ecuadorean striker Edmundo Zura. Zura had been recruited to replace the departed Mark Bridge (Sydney FC), while exciting prospect Ben Kantarovski was also given his first appearance. Kantarovski became the A-League’s youngest ever player at the time, filling in at the heart of the defence on debut.
With speculation over an overseas move surrounding Jade North, Joel Griffiths took the armband for the match at Hunter Stadium on a cold and wet night. Despite a bright opening half, the teams went into the half time break at 0-0 with both defences blunting any real attacks.
The play opened up in the second half and South Korean Jet Song Jin-Hyung was a thorn in the side of the Mariners all evening. The 66th minute brought an air of controversy as Mariners striker Nik Mrdja was subbed on in his first appearance against the Jets since breaking the leg of Andrew Durante prior to season one.
While both teams had their chances it appeared the match was heading to a stalemate until Matt Simon headed home from close range to score his first A-League goal in the 87th minute.
Not to be deterred, the Jets pushed forward and after a foul on Tarek Elrich, referee Matthew Breeze pointed the spot and awarded a penalty. Joel Griffiths stepped up and slotted the goal past Danny Vukovic, much to the delight of the 16,022 fans in attendance.
1-1 the final score in Newcastle.