Clayton Zane says he is proud of the way his players fought on despite being reduced to 10 men in their loss to Broadmeadow.
Newcastle Jets youth team coach Clayton Zane says he is proud of the way his players fought on despite being reduced to 10 men in their 3-2 NBN State League semi-final loss to Broadmeadow Magic on Sunday.
The Jets were leading 1-0 when goalkeeper Jack Duncan was sent off for handling the ball outside the penalty area.
With reserve goalkeeper James Fogarty out injured, defender Sam Gallaway was forced to put the gloves on. His first touch saw him picking the ball out of the back of the net after the Magic scored directly from the free-kick following Duncan-s infringement.
However, rather than sitting with 10 men behind the ball in the hope of forcing the game into extra-time and penalties, the Jets continued to attack and create chances.
“I said to the players to be proud of what they did,” Zane said.
“In the second half we kept our three up top. I don-t think many teams after going a man down would have kept three up top.
“Obviously Broadmeadow had an overload in midfield with four against three.
“It was always going to be tough for our midfielders, but I thought defensively at the back we looked quite solid and up front, we always looked a threat.”
After falling behind 2-1 midway through the second half, the Jets showed great character to get back on level terms, before eventually being beaten 3-2.
It-s not the first time this season the Jets have been left without a specialist keeper in goals after Fogarty was sent off in round 14 against Hamilton Olympic. On that occasion, Duncan was away on international duty with the Australian under 20-s and forward Dino Fajkovic ended up between the sticks.
Zane said Duncan-s send off was the turning point in the match against Broadmeadow.
“I think until the keeper was sent off, we were playing well, we just needed to get a second goal before half time,” he said.
“We found ourselves in this position against Hamilton Olympic where we had one player down.
“Already we know we-re in this predicament, it-s not a great predicament and this has just compounded it, so we-re back to square one like we were a few weeks ago.”
The Jets now play Edgeworth Eagles at Jack McLaughlan Oval on Saturday at 3pm in a sudden-death elimination semi-final.
With Duncan to serve a mandatory suspension for his red card, Zane is hopeful Fogarty would have recovered from his injury in time for Saturday-s match.
“He-ll get checked this week and hopefully we-ll get a proper keeper in for the Edgeworth game,” Zane said.