Central Coast Mariners scored a late injury time goal to steal a point, just as Newcastle Jets looked set to take all three from the first F3 Derby of Hyundai A-League season 11 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
The match was destined to be an intriguing affair -- as it always is when these two traditional rivals meet -- however Scott Miller’s men will feel that they could and probably should have secured all three points from the encounter with Tony Walmsley’s team after they held the lead beyond regulation time.
Mariners had Jake McGing sent off for a lunging, reckless tackle on Leonardo in the 24th minute, leaving the side from Central Coast with ten men for the majority of the match.
However it took until the 83rd minute for the Jets to breach the Mariners goal -- from David Carney’s corner, Serbian striker Milos Trifunovic rose and met the ball with his head, glancing it into the back of the net.
The Jets seemed set to soar to the summit of the Hyundai A-League standings via what would have been aptly recorded in the pages of history as a scrappy success, however it wasn’t to be as Mariners substitute Matt Sim found the bottom right corner in the third minute of time added on at the end of the match.
The Jets failed to properly clear a long ball from a free kick, and Sim made the hosts pay with his low effort after Josh Rose’s pass.
“Today wasn’t good enough,” Newcastle Jets boss Scott Miller said, bluntly, in his post-match press conference. “We [should] have managed the game better.”
“That performance at home isn’t to our standards whatsoever.”
“Today was an opportunity to go top for an hour, and we didn’t take it.”
“The flip side of it is that we have ten points from a maximum of 18 … that’s a great start to the season from a situation when we first arrived here that was very challenging.”
“To be in this position now [ten points from six games and in the finals places] is very pleasing.”
Newcastle Jets play away to Adelaide United next weekend, before taking on Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium in Hyundai A-League round 8.
The club’s round 8 match will be held in partnership with RAAF Williamtown, with three FA-18 Hornets to fly over the Stadium pre-match.
The Jets will also wear a commemorative, one-off RAAF inspired kit in the game.
Tickets for one of the most unique Hyundai A-League matches ever are available here.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Trifunovic 83’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Sim 90+2’)
Venue: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Newcastle Jets: 1. Mark Birighitti (Gk), 3. Jason Hoffman, 4. Nigel Boogaard (C), 6. Cameron Watson (24. Nicholas Cowburn 76’), 7. Enver Alivodic, 8. Mateo Poljak, 9. Milos Trifunovic, 10. Leonardo (17. Radovan Pavicevic 28’), 13. Lee Ki-je, 22. Lachlan Jackson, 23. David Carney
Substitutes not used: 20. Ben Kennedy (Gk), 25. Brandon Lundy, 29. Andrew Pawiak
Yellow cards: Watson, Hoffman, Pavicevic, Trifunovic
Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Paul Izzo (Gk), 2. Storm Roux, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Jacob Poscoliero, 6. Mitch Austin (15. Matthew Sim 81’), 8. Nick Montgomery (C), 9. Roy O’Donovan, 10. Anthony Caceres, 11. Nick Fitzgerald, 14. Daniel Heffernan (19. Josh Bingham 46’), 22. Jake McGing
Substitutes not used: 16. Liam Rose, 20. Anthony Kalik, 30. Adam Pearce (Gk)
Yellow cards: Caceres
Red cards: McGing