After four games in two weeks the Jets finally ran out of puff at home against the in-form Wellington Phoenix.
The Phoenix took a two-goal lead twice in the match, before Newcastle charged back into the contest late in the second half and almost snatched a point.
The home side started the afternoon brightly when Steven Ugarkovic threaded a sublime pass through the heart of the Phoenix defence to Daniel Georgievski.
The Jets wingback looked to square infield to Jason Hoffman, but the Phoenix defence did well to clear away the pass. However, the ball fell to Georgievski once more who sliced his strike just wide.
Minutes later Hoffman again linked up with Georgievski, but Wellington keeper Lewis Italiano was up to the task, making the save.
But, just as they looked set to take control of the match, a misjudgement at the back saw the visitors take the lead through Matija Ljujic. His attempted cross from the right side, somehow found its way inside the far post.
Matters were made worse for the Jets less than ten minutes later as Daniel Mullen doubled the lead off a Phoenix corner.
The visitors headed to the sheds with a two-goal advantage, however it was quickly halved when they returned.
Newcastle returned with a renewed intensity and following a silky backheel from Pato Rodgriguez, Georgievski glided between defenders before playing in an unmarked Andrew Nabbout who turned and buried his strike into the bottom corner.
Soon after a head clash between Ljujic and Boogaard forced the Jets skipper from the park just as they began to get on a roll.
The home side looked to have won a free-kick in a crucial position after Rodriguez was bumped to ground by Andrew Durante.
But, with no whistle from referee Jarred Gillett Wellington made the Jets pay the ultimate price going down the other end of the ground and scoring a third via Roy Krishna.
Newcastle huffed and puffed, however they just couldn’t quite break the visitors strong resolve.
That was until youngster Angus Thurgate was injected, bringing plenty of energy and a late penalty when he was bundled over in the box by Marco Rossi.
In the 86th minute Dimi Petratos stepped up to the spot and duly converted to set up a grandstand finish and the Jets threw everything at the Phoenix.
Thurgate was bundled over in the box again, and was unlucky not to win another penalty, while Nabbout just couldn’t squeeze his shot inside Italiano’s near post after Ivan Vujica sped down the left edge and whipped in a low cross.
In the end, it just wasn’t the Jets afternoon as they went down 3-2 with a fighting performance.
From the coach:
“I think overall it was a pretty flat performance. I think playing four games in just over two weeks finally took its toll. It was a credit to the boys for working hard right till the end to try to get something out of the game.”
“They [Wellington] dedicated a player, Matt Ridenton to take Dimi [Petratos] out of the game and he did that very effectively. But, when Dimi pulled him out of the middle we had no one there to take advantage of that space.”
15’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Ugarkovic with a stunning ball behind the Wellington defence finds Georgievski, who looks to square up into the box but his pass is cut off! #NEWvWEL
20’ | 0 – 0 | CHANCE! Hoffman gets loose at the back after Georgievski dinks through a neat ball – a brave diving effort from Italiano saves the day #NEWvWEL
25’ | 0 – 0 | Nabbout breaks down the right wing and looks to find Petratos in the area, Italiano again cuts out a dangerous ball #NEWvWEL
28’ | 0 – 1 | Ljujic gets the scoring underway for the visitors with a long range effort #NEWvWEL
37’ | 0 – 2 | Wellington double their lead through Daniel Mullen #NEWvWEL
41’ | 0 – 2 | SAVE! Jack Duncan does well to drag in a strike from Kaludjerovic #NEWvWEL
48’ | 1 – 2 | GOAL! Andrew Nabbout! #NEWvWEL
48’ | 1 – 2 | A Rodriguez backheel puts Georgievski into acres of space, he squares up to an unmarked Nabbout who calmly puts it past Italiano #NEWvWEL
55’ | 1 – 2 | Boogaard takes a heavy knock and play is halted while he receives treatment #NEWvWEL
59’ | 1 – 3 | Krishna finds the back of the net for the Phoenix #NEWvWEL
63’ | 1 – 3 | Our skipper returns to the field after getting some running repairs, courageous stuff from Boogs! #NEWvWEL
84’ | 1 – 3 | PENALTY! Thurgate fouled in the area! #NEWvWEL
85’ | 2 – 3 | GOAL! Petratos! #NEWvWEL
88’ | 2 – 3 | Nabbout OH SO CLOSE! Another dangerous cross from Vujica sees his tangle with Italiano #NEWvWEL
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6.Steven UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 10.Wayne BROWN, 11.Pato RODRIGUEZ, 13.Ivan VUJICA, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, (gk), 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 44.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
Subs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 24.Joe CHAMPNESS, 32.Angus THURGATE
Subs Not Used: 20.Glenn MOSS 22.Lachlan JACKSON
Goals: Nabbout (48’), Petratos (86’p)
Wellington Phoenix: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 7.Nathan BURNS, 8.Matija LJUJIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 13.Marco ROSSI, 19.Tom DOYLE, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON
Subs: 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 14.Alex RUFER,
Subs Not Used: 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)
Yellow Cards: Durante (16’), Galloway (63’), Rossi (84’), Italiano (85’)
Goals: Ljujic 28’, Mullen (36’), Krishna (58’)