FFA CUP: Brown belter, but Jets bow out

Newcastle Jets bowed out of the 2016 Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday, falling 3-1 to the defending competition Champions Melbourne Victory in on-and-off driving rain at Magic Park in Broadmeadow.

A stunning Wayne Brown goal early in the second half wasn’t enough for the Jets to trump Victory, who found the net themselves via Besart Berisha, Oliver Bozanic (penalty), and George Howard.

Despite the loss and natural disappointment that the club’s Westfield FFA Cup campaign has come to an early end, Scott Miller’s men showed plenty of aggression and played at a high-tempo against the highly rated Victory, which augurs well for the club’s Hyundai A-League campaign which will commence in October. 

Four players made their competitive Jets debuts on Wednesday - goalscorer Brown, Devante Clut, Andrew Nabbout, and Kristian Brymora. 17-year-old Brymora is a product of the club’s Emerging Jets pathway, and has been in fine form for Clayton Zane’s Jets Youth team throughout 2016.

The Jets will continue their development as a team next week when the club ventures on a four-day trip to Tamworth, which will conclude with a trial match against Central Coast Mariners at Scully Park.

0-1 – Victory opened the scoring early with Albanian ace Besart Berisha heading the ball into the back of the net in the fifth minute following a precise cross from Fahid Ben Khalfallah.  

1-1 – Newcastle’s English import Wayne Brown produced the goods for the Jets, chipping an excellent shot following a lay off from Devante Clut beyond Lawrence Thomas in the 50th minute.

1-2 – Victory received a dubious penalty four minutes after Brown’s leveller, and Oliver Bozanic sent his effort from 12 yards low past Jets custodian Ben Kennedy.

1-3 – With time almost up Ben Khalfallah latched on to an errant pass from the Jets defence before squaring to substitute George Howard who guided his strike past the retreating Daniel Mullen.

Wayne Brown made his debut for the club and managed a quality goal to put the Jets back on level terms early in the second half. And while his goal was sublime, the overall energy and commitment Brown showed throughout the 90 minutes didn’t go unnoticed either, with Head Coach Scott Miller praising his attitude and performance following the fixture. “I think he [Brown] gained a lot of respect not only from the fans but his team mates regarding his work ethic today,” Miller said.

“Technically and tactically I thought we were the better side with the ball. I think everyone will agree with me there. We played our style. Now its just the execution of the final ball in that final third and getting numbers in and around that area to create more chances.”

“It’s obvious that we’ll continue to work physically to get them in better condition. [Fatigue] could have played a part towards the end but that’s reality, we move on from it and it’s important we prepare for our next game away next weekend in Tamworth against Central Coast and continue to see progress. The last thing I want to see is lack of progress.”

“I think the support they [the fans] are giving us is great and I’m sure they’ll leave here tonight not happy with the result but with an evident and clear message that the team has changed in terms of dynamic. We appreciate their support.”

Newcastle Jets 1 (Brown 50’)
Melbourne Victory 3 (Berisha 5’, Bozanic 54’ (pen), Howard 87’)
Venue: Magic Park, Broadmeadow
Referee: Alan Milliner
Attendance: 1,956

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben Kennedy (Gk), 2. Daniel Mullen, 3. Jason Hoffman, 5. Ben Kantarovski, 6. Steven Ugarkovic, 7. Andrew Hoole, 8. Mateo Poljak (C), 10. Wayne Brown, 15. Andrew Nabbout, 16. Nicholas Cowburn, 23. Devante Clut (24. Kristian Brymora 67’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Andy Brennan, 17. Radovan Pavicevic, 20. Jack Duncan (Gk), 22. Lachlan Jackson
Yellow cards: Jason Hoffman 3’, Wayne Brown 35’, Kristian Brymora 72’
Red cards: Nil

Melbourne Victory: 3. Scott Galloway, 4. Nicholas Ansell, 5. Daniel Georgievski, 6. Leigh Broxham, 8. Besart Berisha (19. George Howard 27’), 11. Mitchell Austin (23. Jai Ingham 71’), 13. Oliver Bozanic (16. Rashid Mahazi 80’), 14. Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 15. Alan Baro, 20. Lawrence Thomas (Gk), 21. Carl Valeri (C)
Substitutes not used: 17. James Donachie, 30. Lucas Spinella (Gk)
Yellow cards: Alan Baro 39’, Nicholas Ansell 42’, Leigh Broxham 81’, Rashid Mahazi 84’
Red cards: Nil