Jets succumb to Sydney fightback

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-1 by Sydney FC in their round 24 Hyundai A-League encounter played at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-1 by Sydney FC in their round 24 Hyundai A-League encounter played at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

While Jobe Wheelhouse gave Newcastle the lead with a superb 32nd minute effort, strikes from John Aloisi and Stuart Musialik combined with a last gasp goal from Chris Payne secured the three points for the visiting Sky Blues.

Indeed, Newcastle toiled well in front of their biggest home crowd of the season with Wheelhouse, Adam D-Apuzzo and Korean Jin-Hyung Song standing out in a side unlucky not to be rewarded for their consistent endeavour.

Yet despite some early half chances for the Jets with Song sending some enticing balls into the area, it was Sydney FC who manufactured the best opening in the game-s early life.

In the 13th minute, irrepressible midfielder Steve Corica played an inch perfect ball into the area, putting Brosque through one-on-one with Jets gloveman Ben Kennedy. However, Kennedy reacted well to Brosque-s shot with the outside of his boot, parrying the ball for a corner when it seemed certain the lethal striker would open the scoring.

Just after the half hour mark the Jets took the lead in clinical fashion. Running a fine angle into the area, Wheelhouse was picked out by a smart Matt Thompson through ball before sending his first time shot inside Clint Bolton-s right post and the home faithful into raptures.

With both sides enjoying their share of possession but not really forcing the issue in the final 15 minutes of the half, it was with some surprise that Sydney restored parity before the break. But, Aloisi-s first half graft was rewarded when he slotted home literally seconds before Peter Green blew his whistle for half time.

With Musialik sliding a ball to the feet of Terry McFlynn, Aloisi arced his run into the box, combining with the Northern Irish midfielder before sending a left foot shot into the corner of Kennedy-s net.

Following the interval Viteslav Lavicka-s men came out looking the sharper of the two sides and it only took them five minutes to hit the back of the net again. Former Jet Musialik hit a sublime strike from 25-yards after receiving a short ball from McFlynn, leaving Kennedy with no chance.

Despite going a goal down the home side refused to throw in the towel, instead going on the attack in what was a lively second half showing.

And, with Sean Rooney, Ali Abbas and Labinot Haliti all featuring from the bench as the Jets sought to level proceedings, Newcastle certainly looked the more likely of the two sides to add to the scoring post-Musialik-s bomb.

However, despite half chances coming and going to Rooney on 66 minutes, Michael Bridges on 72 minutes and Thompson on 75 minutes, the Jets just couldn-t manage to carve a further clear cut opening in what was the Hyundai A-League-s ‘Come Play- round in recognition of Australia-s World Cup Bid.

Instead, late substitute Payne etched his name onto the scoresheet with a fine solo effort seconds before the final whistle, stealing the ball from Ben Kantarovski on the right flank before dribbling into the box and calmly slotting low to Kennedy-s right as the visitors ensured they-d leave the Hunter with maximum points.

Jets coach Branko Culina - mentoring his 300th National League game - was disappointed his side could not continue the stellar recent run in front of the crowd of 9,892. Culina acknowledged the goals conceded in the crucial five-minute period either side of half-time crushed Newcastle-s chances in the match.

“That was the killer the goal just before half time really killed us,” he said. “We just lost a little bit of concentration and discipline and we paid the price for it.”

Match Details: Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO (15. Sean ROONEY 46-), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c) (25. Labinot HALITI 82-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES (26. Ali ABBAS 73-)

Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk)

Yellow cards: Adam D-Apuzzo 39-

Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC: Clint BOLTON (gk), 3. Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI (16. Chris PAYNE 76-), 10. Steve CORICA (c) (23. Rhyan GRANT 73-), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE (26. Hayden FOXE 87-), 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 22. Sung HWAN-BYUN

Unused substitutes: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk)

Yellow cards: Stephan Keller 69-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1 (Wheelhouse 32-) Sydney FC: 3 (Aloisi 45-, Musialik 50-, Payne 90+3-) Referee: Peter Green Crowd: 9,892