The Newcastle Jets were defeated 1-0 by Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets were defeated 1-0 by Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The match started at a frantic pace, with plenty of end-to-end action as both teams looked dangerous on the counter attack.
The Jets- first meaningful attacking foray came five minutes into the contest with Nathan Burns breaking clear down the right flank before whipping in a cross looking for striker Adam Taggart.
With Taggart lurking inside the six-yard box, Adelaide-s Isaias stepped in with a crucial intervention to knock the ball behind for a corner.
Jets skipper Ruben Zadkovich whipped the ensuring corner in towards Taylor Regan, who was unable to direct the ball towards goal with his outstretched left boot.
Adelaide went close to taking the lead in the 20th minute with Osama Malik putting Sergio Cirio through on goal, only for Jets defender Jacob Pepper to make a vital sliding tackle to deny the Spaniard as he shaped to shoot.
Both sides continued to look threatening going forward, with a total eight corners being awarded inside the first 25 minutes of the half.
One such corner lead to Zadkovich picking out Josh Mitchell at the back post in the 25th minute, only for the central defender to direct his header wide of the target.
The home side hit the front just a minute later, with Jeronimo whipping in a dangerous ball from the right that forced Mark Birighitti to make a crucial intervention at his near post.
Unfortunately for the Jets, the ball fell to the feet of Reds striker Bruce Djite who blasted it into the back of the net from close range to give Adelaide a 1-0 lead.
The Jets responded well after going behind, enjoying their best spell of the match before half-time, with plenty of possession inside Adelaide-s half.
However, they were unable to find a way past Reds shot-stopper Eugene Galekovic and went into the break trailing 1-0.
The second half started in a feisty fashion, with tackles flying in from both sets of players and referee Chris Beath dishing out three yellow cards in quick succession.
The Jets continued to push forward in search of an equaliser and very nearly had it in the 62nd minute when Taylor Regan-s ball over the top picked out the run of Adam Taggart who had sprung Adelaide-s offside trap.
Taggart attempted to knock the ball past the on-rushing Galekovic with his first touch, only for the Adelaide shot-stopper to miraculously stick his left foot out and deflect the shot wide of the goal.
The introduction of marquee striker Emile Heskey in the 66th minute gave the Jets added attacking impetus, with the former England international making an immediate impact, nearly connecting with Zadkovich-s corner in the 70th minute.
Set pieces proved to be a good route to goal for the Jets, with Burns swinging in a corner in the 76th minute that was headed back across goal by Josh Mitchell, only for Taggart to hook his first-time effort over the bar.
Adelaide had the chance to put the result beyond doubt in the 86th minute, with substitute Awer Mabil cutting the ball back to Cirio at the top of the box, only to see the Spaniard hit his shot straight at Birighitti.
Two minutes later, Jake Barker-Daish forced a superb diving save from Birighitti with a driven shot from outside the area that the Jets shot-stopper tipped onto the post, then crossbar and then opposite post.
The Reds were nearly made to pay for the near misses, with Heskey forcing Galekovic to make a save after connecting with a Josh Brillante cross, before Brillante unleashed a stinging left-footed drive from outside the area that also brought out a good save from the Adelaide goalkeeper.
However, despite their best efforts, the Jets were unable to find the equalising goal and Adelaide took home all three points.
Adelaide United 1 (Djite 26-) Newcastle Jets 0