The Newcastle Jets defeated Brisbane Roar 1-0 in the Northern Inland Football Challenge at Scully Park in Tamworth on Saturday.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets defeated Brisbane Roar 1-0 in the Northern Inland Football Challenge at Scully Park in Tamworth on Saturday night.
A Ryan Griffiths goal in the 20th minute proved to be the difference between the two sides in an evenly-matched contest where both teams showed promising signs for the season ahead.
Earlier on, it was the Roar who had the better of the opening exchanges with Henrique and Rocky Visconte both firing shots at goal.
Not to be outdone, the Jets managed to control their fair share of possession with Scott Neville and James Virgili looking threatening down the right flank.
They eventually turned that pressure into opportunities to score with Zadkovich unleashing a long-range effort that sailed just over the crossbar.
This was followed by back-to-back corners, the second of which saw the Jets open the scoring through Ryan Griffiths in the 20th minute.
Wheelhouse played the corner to the near post where Marko Jesic flicked the ball on with a deft back heel. The ball fell kindly for Griffiths who blasted it into the back of the net from inside the six-yard box to give Newcastle a 1-0 lead.
Another Wheelhouse set piece almost saw the Jets double their advantage a short time later, but Josh Mitchell was unable to keep his side-footed volley down at the back post.
Both sides enjoyed periods where they dictated the tempo of the match and the Roar were soon on the attack through Henrique.
The Brazilian played in Massimo Murdocca who forced a sharp reflex save out of Brirghitti from close range. The loose ball then fell to Ben Halloran who hit his follow up shot into the side-netting.
The Jets responded through Jesic who struck a swerving effort from 25 metres out that was well saved by Michael Theo, ensuring the score remained 1-0 at the break.
The second half started as evenly matched as the first but with neither side able to create any clear-cut chances.
That was until the 59th minute when Matthew Jurman rose to win a header at the back post following a Roar corner. The central-defender-s effort was parried away at the near post by a sharp reflex save by Mark Birghitti.
Gary van Egmond rang the changes a short time later, making no less than six second-half substitutions.
As the players who came off the Jets bench took time to settle into the contest, Brisbane had a couple of chances to draw level through striker Besart Berisha.
The Albanian shot centimetres wide after pouncing on a Jets turnover, before he was denied by Birghitti who pulled off a stunning one-handed save to tip the ball over the crossbar.
The Jets had their own chances through substitute Michael Bridges who looked dangerous after he came on, but the Englishman was unable to double Newcastle-s advantage and the match finished 1-0 in favour of the Jets
Newcastle Jets 1 (Ryan Griffiths 20-) Brisbane Roar 0