Hyundai A-League Season 6

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Newcastle Leapfrog Wellington
Thanks To Deserved Win
By Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com)

A-League - 2010/2011 Season - Round 15
7pm, Sunday 20 November 2010
at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Broadmeadow



Newcastle United Jets FC 1
(Marko Jesic 55')
defeated
Wellington Phoenix FC 0



(Linked from FFA site)

Newcastle Jets completed a strong week for the club in the Hyundai A-League with a hard-earned but well-deserved 1-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix on 20 November, in front of one of their biggest crowds for some seasons.

12,174 fans piled into EnergyAustralia Stadium, where a treacherous pitch may well have contributed to the premature conclusion to Sean Rooney’s season, the substitute lasting just six second half minutes before succumbing to what appeared to be the dreaded anterior cruciate ligament injury, and a minimum eight month spell on the sidelines.

He wasn’t the only Newcastle player to depart the fray with a knee injury. Nikolai Topor-Stanley also hobbled off in the second spell after an unintentional clash of knees with Wellington striker Paul Ifill.

The defender had performed soundly prior to his departure. Indeed, defences dominated proceedings throughout a tepid first half, with Newcastle’s Taylor Regan vying for best performer of the half honours with Wellington’s central defensive duo, Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante.

The visitors created the first chance of note in the match in the nineteenth minute. Leo Bertos’ corner was flicked on at the near post by Chris Greenacre, but Ben Kantarovski was on hand to clear at the far post, albeit only as far as Vince Lia.

His twenty-yarder deflected to safety off a Newcastle defender, and sparked a counter-attack which culminated in a free-kick. Kasey Wehrman’s quickly-taken set-piece played Marko Jesic in, but the youngster was caught out by the speed of the free-kick - he hit the crossbar with his shot, but was in an offside position when the opportunity presented itself.

The closest Newcastle came to a first half goal saw Topor-Stanley beat Mark Paston in the air as a Wehrman corner curled into the goalmouth. The defender’s header looped onto the roof of Wellington’s net in the 24th minute.

Three minutes later, a fine piece of defending by Troy Hearfield thwarted Kantarovski as he made in-roads into Wellington’s penalty area, while inside five minutes Vince Lia was blocking a goal bound shot from Jesic after Ali Abass and Tarek Elrich had combined to slip Francis Jeffers into the penalty area, the former Arsenal and Everton striker doing well to hold off defenders and back-heel the ball for Elrich to play into Jesic’s stride.

Jesic was guilty of another miss six minutes before the break, pulling his shot across the face of goal after Marcello Fiorentini and Elrich had combined to present the striker with a shooting chance from the edge of the penalty area, while in the shadows of the half-time whistle, Paston raced out of his area to clear off the toes of Abass, as he chased after a Wehrman through ball.

The game was decided by its only goal, ten minutes into the second spell. Jeffers played a superb ball wide for Abbas, who threaded the ball through into the stride of Jesic. As he checked and turned inside, an untimely slip on the awful pitch by Hearfield allowed the young striker the time and space in which to execute a fifteen yard curler, which arced around the diving figure of Paston and in by the far post.

Newcastle, buoyed on by their supporters, grew in confidence with the goal, and Jesic should have scored twice more in the next seven minutes. Jeffers played him through the inside left channel in the 59th minute, but the striker dragged his shot on the run wide of the near post.

Three minutes later, a splendid counter-attack featuring Fiorentini, Abbas and a raking cross-field ball from Jeffers which found Jesic in acres of space on Newcastle’s right. He scythed into the penalty area before pulling his shot across the face of goal, with Abbas inside him screaming for a pass as he steamed up in support.

The home team continued to threaten, although they were clearly tiring after playing matches against the top two teams during the past week. Twenty minutes from time, it was Jeffers’ turn to receive a measured pass - Wehrman bossed the midfield against ineffective opponents - and the striker looked to set up Jesic once more.

Sigmund was racing back, however, and directed the ball towards his own goal. Thankfully for the defender, Paston smothered it, but it speaks volumes for Wellington’s shortcomings that that was their only shot on target all evening.

The visitors offered industry aplenty, and no lack of perspiration, but Wellington sorely lacked inspiration and creativity throughout this match. They never looked like getting anything from the contest the longer it went on - a little like the situation faced by the Inland Revenue Department re club owner Terry Serepisos’ tax debt to the nation’s coffers.

At least they could turn to legal means to resolve the issue, even though it has resulted in the club being in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons this week. Wellington coach Ricki Herbert doesn’t have that luxury to fall back on - his problems stem from a midfield combination which simply isn’t performing to the levels expected of them, and that is impacting on the team’s performances both defensively and in attack.

That ineffectiveness played its part in Newcastle prevailing 1-0 in front of their biggest crowd for many a month. They’re now starting to ascend the table - indeed, they leapfrogged Wellington with this win.

And with home games against Central Coast Mariners and Los Angeles Galaxy to come in the next week, those responsible for the “Under New Management” signs in this Australian footballing hotbed are clearly having the desired impact.



A-League - 2010/2011 Season - Round 15
7pm, Sunday 20 November 2010
at EnergyAustralia Stadium, Broadmeadow

Newcastle United Jets FC 1
(Marko Jesic 55')
defeated
Wellington Phoenix FC 0

    Crowd: 12,147

    MATCH STATS:

    Newcastle United Jets FC :
    Player listing:
    Kennedy; Elrich, Regan, Topor-Stanley (Wheelhouse, 71), D’Apuzzo; Fiorentini, Wehrman, Kantarovski; Jesic, Jeffers (Rooney, 74) (Petrovski, 80), Abass (booked, 19)
    Substitutes not used: (rgk)

    Coach: Branko Culina

    Yellow Cards:
    Red Cards: Nil

    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    Paston; Hearfield, Sigmund, Durante, Muscat; Ward, Elliott, Lia; Bertos (Daniel, 71), Greenacre (Pavlovic, 63), Ifill
    Substitutes not used: (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards:
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Gerard Parsons 4/10
    Assistants: Rod Allen,Daniel Dewhurst; Fourth official: Ryan Gallagher

    Pitch rating: 0/10 - that pitch is a disgrace

    Game rating: 4/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Kasey Wehrman (NUJ)
    2. Andrew Durante (WP)
    1. Taylor Regan (NUJ)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that.Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

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