The Newcastle Jets were defeated 3-0 by Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets were defeated 3-0 by Wellington Phoenix at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
It was a cagey opening to the contest with neither team creating any clear-cut opportunities inside the first 30 minutes. The Jets were keeping possession well, but were unable to pose any real attacking threat to the Wellington defence.
It was the Phoenix who created the first chance of the game with Alex Smith heading just wide of the goals in the 34th minute.
The Jets showed their own attacking prowess through Scott Neville a short time later. Neville picked up the ball on the edge of the area before trying a right-footed shot on the turn that was parried away by Mark Paston.
The Jets almost hit the front in the 40th minute when a Jobe Wheelhouse corner forced a scramble in the box. The ball found its way to Emile Heskey but his shot from close range was desperately blocked.
Despite the pressure applied by the Jets, it was the Phoenix that went ahead in the 44th minute. Paul Ifill whipped in a cross from the right flank that picked out Jeremy Brockie-s perfectly-timed run to the back post.
Brockie made the most of the opportunity and comfortably finished past Mark Birighitti from close range to put Wellington 1-0 up on the stroke of half-time.
The Jets were nearly back on level terms after the break with Josh Mitchell's flicked-on header putting Heskey through, however the Englishman couldn't get enough power behind his header to beat the on-rushing Paston.
Birighitti was called into action in the 65th minute when he made a brave one-on-one save to deny Brockie. Unfortunately the shot-stopper copped an accidental knee to the head and had to be replaced by back-up keeper Matthew Nash.
There was little Nash could do to stop Brockie scoring his second in the 81st minute, with the Kiwi international-s looping header sneaking in at the back post to make it 2-0.
Wellington made it 3-0 in the 87th minute after Benjamin Totori was brought down in the penalty box by Mitchell. Ifill stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Nash the wrong way to seal the victory for the Phoenix.
Newcastle Jets 0 Wellington Phoenix 3 (Brockie 44-, 81-, Ifill 87-)
Newcastle Jets: 2. Scott Neville, 3. Tiago Calvano, 4. Josh Mitchell, 7. James Brown, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 12. Josh Brillante, 16. Jobe Wheelhouse, 17. James Virgili (22. Adam Taggart 59-), 20. Mark Birighitti (gk) (33. Matt Nash 69-), 23. Ryan Griffiths. Yellow cards: Mitchell 87- Substitutes not used: 11. Connor Chapman, 19. Michael Bridges,.
Wellington starting XI: 1. Mark Paston (gk), 2. Emmanuel Muscat, 3. Tony Lochhead, 6. Alexander Smith, 7. Leo Bertos, 8. Paul Ifill (12. Tyler Boyd 90-), 11. Jeremy Brockie (28. Ricardo Clarke 90-), 16. Louis Fenton (9. Benjamin Totori 80-), 17. Vince Lia, 18. Ben Sigmund, 22. Andrew Durante (c). Yellow cards: Fenton 51- Substitutes not used:20. Glen Moss (gk)