Jets go down in derby clash

The Newcastle Jets have tonight gone down by the odd goal against local rivals the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium. The 1-0 win to the home team was punctuated by strong, physical play and striker Dylan Macallister exemplified that by scoring the winner on 33 minutes.

The Newcastle Jets have tonight gone down by the odd goal against local rivals the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium. The 1-0 win to the home team was punctuated by strong, physical play and striker Dylan Macallister exemplified that by scoring the winner on 33 minutes.

The Jets certainly created their share of chances, but were unable to capitalise in what would ultimately be a frustrating night.

Indeed the Jets went agonisingly close to scoring first on 19 minutes, after Ecuadorian striker Edmundo Zura slid-in for a cross from the left-hand side. The ball bobbled out of goalkeeper Danny Vukovic-s hands and ricocheted off Zura-s head, only to go inches wide of the goal.

Six minutes later and Macallister showed the 10,710 fans in Gosford a glimpse of things to come when he followed up on a deflected Sasho Petrovski strike from close range, only to be denied by a brilliant reflex save by Ante Covic.

The big striker then scored the winner after pouncing on a loose ball inside the area, turning to create space for the shot, and tucking the ball into the back of the net. It was a superb piece of individual skill, worthy of winning the derby.

The second half would prove to be as frustrating as the first for the visitors, as they lacked the killer finish to draw level.

On 59 minutes, Zura had an opportunity from 15 yards out after some superb battling work from his strike partner Joel Griffiths. The Ecuadorian-s strike, however, lacked sting and was well held by Vukovic.

A bizarre passage of play then occurred three minutes later, when a Mark Milligan cross was met by the head of Mariners- midfielder Brad Porter. Despite heading toward his own goal, Porter-s header bounced just over the bar.

Jin-Hyung Song had perhaps the best of the second half chances for the Hunter side when he broke free of his marker and found himself on the end of a Zura cross in the 80th minute. The diminutive Korean couldn-t keep his header down though, and the ball flew harmlessly high of the target.

After the game, Head coach Gary van Egmond was understandably disappointed with the loss but explained that it wasn-t all bad news for the defending Hyundai A-League Champions.

“It was very frustrating,” he said. “In parts we probably got drawn into their game a little bit too much where they-re very direct and we started to go direct. We were fairly narrow in stages as well.”

“I thought the game was pretty even, if you looked at it on the whole I would suggest that we had the most possession, but possession doesn-t necessarily mean you win games and tonight that was very evident.”

Van Egmond explained that he was pleased with new recruit Milligan, and that the Olyroo skipper would only improve with his time on the pitch.

“He-ll be much better for that run and we now have a nine day turnaround before we play Queensland at home so we-ll be able to get a little more work out of him. I think he-ll get a lot of benefit out of tonight,” van Egmond said.

Match Details:

Central Coast Mariners Squad. 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Bradley PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 10. Adrian CACERES (2. Andre GUMPRECHT 80-), 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 13. Paul O'GRADY, 17. Matthew OSMAN, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON (9. Nik MRDJA 60-), 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 22. Sasho PETROVSKI (6. David D'APUZZO 90-), 23. Mile JEDINAK

Unused substitutes: 1. Matthew NASH (gk) Yellow cards: Alex Wilkinson 56-, Paul O-Grady 86- Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets Squad. 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (c), 6. Jesper HAKANSSON (13. Adam D-APUZZO 51-), 8. Matt THOMPSON (25. Daniel PIORKOWSKI 80-), 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. Jin-Hyung SONG, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 23. Edmundo ZURA, 26. Mark MILLIGAN (7. Kaz PATAFTA 70-)

Unused substitutes: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk) Yellow cards: Jesper Hakansson 38-, Jade North 64- Red cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Dylan Macallister 33-) Newcastle Jets: 0

Crowd: 10,710 Referee: Matthew Breeze