The Newcastle Jets were defeated 1-0 by Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets were defeated 1-0 by Perth Glory at Hunter Stadium on Saturday evening.
Perth started the fixture looking the most dangerous of the two sides, with Steven McGarry taking less than a minute to try his luck from outside the penalty area, only to drag his shot across the face of goal.
A short time later, Isaka Cernak found his way in behind the Jets- defence, but Jets shot stopper Mark Birighitti was quickly off his line to bravely dive at the Perth attacker-s feet before he could get a shot away.
After a sluggish start, the Jets soon found their footing, with Craig Goodwin forcing Danny Vukovic to make a low save with a right-footed shot from outside the area in the 11th minute of the contest.
The rebound fell to the feet of Adam Taggart, but Vukovic scrambled well to smother the Young Socceroo-s close range follow-up effort.
The Jets had another golden opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute, with Taggart showing quick feet to work his way into the box, before being met by the Perth defence.
The ball ricocheted to Goodwin, who was left unmarked at the back post, but he could only drag his shot wide of the target.
The Jets continued to look dangerous going forward and nearly hit the front in the 26th minute when Goodwin-s cross from the left picked out an unmarked Kew Jaliens, only for the Dutchman to direct his header over the crossbar.
Nathan Burns was the next Jets player to have a shot at goal, with his low, driven effort from the corner of the box bringing Vukovic into action once again.
Perth looked most threatening from set pieces and they nearly took the lead against the run of play in the 33rd minute, with Chris Harold heading over the crossbar from close range following a Sidnei corner.
Harold made no mistake five minutes later when he pounced on a wayward back pass from Jacob Pepper and comfortably slotted the ball past Birighitti for the opening goal of the game just before the half-time break.
The Jets came out fired up after the interval, with Goodwin breaking clear down the left flank in the 48th minute, before delivering a dangerous ball to the near post that saw Adam Taggart-s first time shot deflected behind for a corner.
Taggart and then Brillante both tried their luck from distance, but were unable to trouble Vukovic by getting their shots on target.
Perth-s best outlet continued to come through Harold, but the centre forward was reduced to trying his luck from distance as he was unable to find a way through the Jets- centre-back pairing of Jaliens and Taylor Regan.
Former England international Emile Heskey was introduced to the fray in the 57th minute with immediate effect.
Heskey played a neat one-two with Burns on the edge of the area, which fashioned enough space for Burns to fire off a shot that skipped inches wide of the post.
A short time later, Taggart did brilliantly to turn on a dime and beat his man, in the penalty box, only to direct his shot straight at Vukovic who made a sharp reflex save with his feet.
After building sustained pressure, the Jets appeared to have equalised in the 71st minute when Heskey headed Zadkovich-s corner back across goal towards Jaliens.
Jaliens appeared to have bundled to ball into the goal, but the assistant referee adjudged it to have been cleared by Vukovic before the ball had entirely crossed the line.
The Jets continued to push hard in search of an equalizer and Burns nearly provided it with a free-kick in the 82nd minute that looked destined for the top corner, only to be tipped around the post by a stunning diving save by Vukovic.
In the end, despite holding the weight of possession and chances, it wasn-t to be for the home side and Perth travelled back across the Nullabor with all three points.
Newcastle Jets 0 Perth Glory 1 (Harold 38-) Crowd 11,966 @ Hunter Stadium