Jets suffer defeat in North Queensland heat

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 by the North Queensland Fury in sweltering conditions this evening at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 by the North Queensland Fury in sweltering conditions this evening at Dairy Farmers Stadium.

The postponed Hyundai A-League round 25 match began brightly enough for the Jets with skipper Matt Thompson opening the scoring from a sublime volley on 19 minutes before Chris Grossman and Chris Tadrosse strikes allowed the Fury to claw their way back to victory.

Indeed, the Jets had numerous opportunities in the early stages as Thompson and his strike partners Michael Bridges and Labinot Haliti caused the Fury no end of problems in the first half.

English striker Bridges nearly scored an outrageous goal in the 4th minute when he beat the offside trap to move swiftly onto an intelligent Ljubo Milicevic clearing header only for his audacious lob from 30 yards to loop inches over the bar.

The Jets would gain the advantage moments later though when Korean dynamo Jin-Hyung Song hit an in-swinging corner to the back post for Haliti to knock into the path of Thompson. The 27-year-old captain then hit a stunning right-footed volley beyond North Queensland custodian Justin Pasfield and into the back of the net.

Midway through the half and the impressive Thompson looked dangerous again, this time providing an incisive low cross to Jobe Wheelhouse after receiving the ball wide on the right from Song on the counter attack. However, Wheelhouse-s first-time strike from close range was parried away by the onrushing Pasfield to keep the Fury in the contest.

The visitors were then made to pay just prior to the halftime whistle when Grossman was able to latch onto a loose ball 20 yards out from goal before lashing home powerfully into the bottom corner with his left foot.

Both teams were desperate for the three competition points, with the Jets looking to reclaim fourth spot on the ladder and the Fury hopeful of keeping their finals chances alive.

The respective coaches made changes accordingly in the second stanza to go all out for the winner, Branko Culina bringing on the attack minded Jason Hoffman and Ali Abbas to recapture the lead.

It was to be to no avail, however, when, in the 80th minute, Tadrosse ghosted in at the back post and lashed home a cross from lively Englishman Terry Cooke to give the home side a valuable and hard earned victory.

After the match Culina acknowledged the missed opportunities of the first half but explained that having the match re-scheduled before ultimately being played in humid conditions played its part.

“We always knew that the first half was going to be critical and we had to take our opportunities. When the goal was scored we thought ‘great the pressure is going to be on the opposition-.”

“We knew that with the conditions we would find it difficult. By allowing them to score that goal just before halftime we gave them a fresh set of legs and they were buzzing after that.”

“We played well enough, particularly in that first half, to have done better,” he stated.

The loss sees Newcastle remain in sixth spot on 34 competition points in the lead up to this Saturday evening-s F3 derby against local rivals the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Match Details: North Queensland Fury: 20. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Robbie MIDDLEBY (23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 78-), 3. Chris TADROSSE, 6. Ufuk TALAY (16. Paul KOHLER 58-), 9. Robbie FOWLER (c), 11. David WILLIAMS, 13. Beau BUSCH, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 19. James DOWNEY, 24. Dyron DAAL (27. Terry COOKE 46-), 26. Matt SMITH

Unused substitutes: 1.Paul HENDERSON (gk)

Yellow cards: Robbie Fowler 13-, Dyron Daal 23-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 11. Tarek ELRICH (22. Kaz PATAFTA 85-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES (26. Ali ABBAS 75-), 25. Labinot HALITI (16. Jason HOFFMAN 69-)

Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk)

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

North Queensland Fury: 2 (Grossman 39-, Tadrosse 80-) Newcastle Jets: 1 (Thompson 19-) Referee: Chris Beath