Jets Lose in Port Macquarie

The Port Macquarie curse has continued with the Newcastle Jets failing to score at the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium after five attempts. Having previously played at the venue in pre-season matches, this was the first official Hyundai A- league played at the ground which the Newcastle Jets lost 2 – 0 after goals from Nicholas Kalmar and a

The Port Macquarie curse has continued with the Newcastle Jets failing to score at the Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium after five attempts. Having previously played at the venue in pre-season matches, this was the first official Hyundai A- league played at the ground which the Newcastle Jets lost 2 - 0 after goals from Nicholas Kalmar and a Gerald Sibon in the second half.

The Newcastle Jets held the bulk of possession in the early stages of the match but it was the Melbourne Heart who had the first real opportunity of the match when Adrian Zahra found himself unmarked in the six yard box. He attempted to slot his shot past Ben Kennedy but the desperate Newcastle Jets shot stopper dived to his left to successfully smother the shot.

The Newcastle Jets first opportunity did not arrive until the 18th minute when some clever play by Ali Abbass saw him beat 4 Melbourne Heart players before passing the ball to Halti who pushed the ball onto Jesic. The young midfielder was unable to bring the ball down to his feet quickly enough and the opportunity was lost.

In the 21st minute, a Kasey Wehrman free kick was flicked on by Nikolai Toper Stanley towards Ben Kantarovski who was arriving late on the far post but was also unable to connect with the ball.

In the 25th minute, Newcastle Jets ex captain, Matt Thompson, almost put his former club to the sword when the Newcastle Jets defence failed to clear from a corner. The ball fell to Thompson in the six yard box but a desperate Ben Kennedy again denied the Heart as he again spread himself to save his team.

In the 36th minute, Zadkovich released Jesic down the right hand side . His cross fell awkwardly for Labinot Haliti and another opportunity went begging.

The Jets continued to press forward and in the 39th minute Kantarovski released Abbas who linked up with Zadkovich on the edge of the eighteen yard box. He fainted to shoot before striking the ball with his right foot with the shot narrowly passing his post.

In the 43rd minute, Ali Abbas again found space through the middle before passing to Jesic on the right. The young midfielder hit the ball first time but his shot was off target and did not trouble Melbourne Heart goalkeeper, Clint Bolton.

In the 52nd minute, a spectacular side volley by Nicholas Kalmar broke the deadlock. It was a cross by Rutger Worm down the left hand side that was initially headed away by Topor Stanley but the ball was returned into the danger area by Skoko towards Kalmar who was completely airborne when he lobbed his shot over a surprised Ben Kennedy.

After that, the Newcastle Jets did not have an answer to the Melbourne Heart's advantage and despite numerous shuttles forward, they struggled to penetrate the Heart defence and rarely troubled Heart goal keeper, Clint Bolton.

In the 90th minute, Newcastle Jets Italian import, Marcello Fiorentini shot towards goal with his first touch of the ball. His 25 yard strike had power but lacked direction and the miracle that the loyal band of travelling supporters had hoped for did not eventuate.

In the final minute of the match, the Heart killed the game when they were awarded a penalty. Gerald Sibon made no mistake and scored from the spot to make it 2 goals to nil.

After the match, a disappointed Branko Culina stated “I thought the last ten minutes of the first half we had some good chances, we started off slowly but finished the half well and in the second half I thought we lacked that bit of cutting edge, the final pass or final ball but when you play one game in five weeks it does take the edge off you.”

Ljubo Milicevic stated “It wasn't for lack of effort, I think everybody put in. When you do not play games week in and week out, it is natural to be rusty. We can't rely on one or two good chances, we have to dominate, we hold teams out every week. They had a half chance and he took it well and we are not capitalising on our half chances.”

The Newcastle Jets will play Sydney FC on Sunday 7th November at the Sydney Football Stadium in a must win game for both teams who are both sitting at the bottom of the table on eight points.

Newcastle Jets:           0 Melbourne Heart:         2 Sunday 31st October 2010 Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium Crowd: 3112 Referee: Chris Griffiths   Newcastle Jets line-up: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3.Adam D-APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Ljubo MILICEVIC (c), 6.Ben KANTAROVSKI (13. Sasho PETROVSKI 77'), 7.Kasey WEHRMAN, 10.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 11.Tarek ELRICH, 14.Labinot HALITI (17. Marcello FIORENTINI 90'), 18. Marko Jesic (22. Kaz PATAFTA 67'), 19. Ali ABBAS   Substitutes not used: 40.Matthew NASH (gk),

 Yellow Cards: Milicevic 88th  Red Cards:   Melbourne Heart line-up: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON (c) (4. Simon COLOSIMO 80'), 7. Rutger WORM (17. Jason HOFFMAN 89), 9. Gerald SIBON, 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 16. Aziz BEHICH, 20. Josip SKOKO, 22. Nicholas KALMAR (19. Eli BABALJ 76'), 25. Adrian ZAHRA,   Substitutes not used: 12. Peter ZOIS (gk),   Yellow Cards: Shroj 76th Red Cards: