National Youth League: Season 4 (2011 - 2012 Season)
Round 4 Review
By Zee Ko

NYL Review: 'Ruthless Heart Down Jets'
(Zee Ko was pitch side as Melbourne Heart Youths were impressive against the Newcastle Jets)

See also Alex Robinson's Match report

It was certainly a week to remember for Melbourne Heart as their youth team ran out comfortable 3 – 1 winners against a visiting Newcastle Jets side, just a day after the seniors had recorded a confidence-boosting breakthrough win against the same opposition.

Heart started off at a furious pace under overcast conditions with senior players Kristian Sarkies and Rutger Worm running the rule over the visitors. Indeed, the two combined in only the 2nd minute as Sarkies’s laser guided free kick was headed home powerfully by the former Dutch youth international.

Newcastle goalkeeper Jack Duncan was looking uncharacteristically shaky after conceding the first goal, leading to some heart stopping moments when charging off his line to challenge the Heart forwards. Right winger Worm and lone striker Stipo Andrijasevic were finding holes in the opposition defence with ease, but were let down by a combination of wasteful finishing and the linesman’s offside flag.

All their good work was nearly undone though, as an attack against the run of play saw Newcastle equalise in 23rd minute. Senior contracted player Labinot Haliti was on hand to poke home from point blank range following a good cross from the right wing.

The home side seemed deflated after the equaliser as their early efforts to control proceedings started to take a toll. Much of the first half was fought in the middle of the pitch as opportunities started to dry up.

The second half started in as much the same fashion as the first, with Melbourne Heart dictating play once again. A rash of substitutions was in the offing, as quickfire changes from both sides saw the introduction of Chris Payne and Kyle Ewart for Newcastle, while Melbourne sent on Zac Walker, Dusan Bosnjak and Josh Groenewald.

Groenewald, normally a forward player, was surprisingly slotted into a centre back position to replace Adrian Madaschi. It looked an inspired change though as he popped up at the other end to head home yet another exquisite Sarkies corner kick in the 64th minute.

The Jets players were getting Increasingly frustrated though as Mario Simic first earned the ire of the referee by hauling back Craig Goodwin as the Heart skipper went past him on a fast break. As the referee Brenton Hayward flashed a yellow card, a visibly irate Simic continued to protest his vehemently protest his innocence. Mr. Hayward had had enough, and a second yellow card condemned Simic to an early shower.

The numerical advantage put paid to the match as a contest, as the excellent Billy Liolios won back possession in midfield. Kyle Ewart challenged from behind and got hit in the face by a trailing arm, but the referee waved play on and Zac Walker finished with aplomb after a deft through ball from Liolios.

There was still time for more highlights from the home side, as Groenewald showed his predatory instinct from another Sarkies corner to blast the ball goalwards, only to see it rebound back off an unsuspecting defender’s head. As play switched to the other end of the pitch, he collected a booking for a rash mistimed challenge on a Jets attacker before fellow substitute Bosnjak saw yellow too in injury time for a crunching slide tackle.

Aloisi: Room for improvement, but no complaints

Melbourne Heart Youth Coach John Aloisi was gave a pragmatic assessment on his team’s effort after the match, stating that it was “not bad, although we can always improve aspects of our game”.

“We can’t complain too much, we scored three goals, created quite a few chances in the first half,” he said. “I thought we could have been two or three up at half time, we copped one we weren’t too happy about, but it wasn’t a bad performance.”

Aloisi also took time to praise the efforts of the senior players in the side, saying that “it was always good to have first team players come down and have the younger boys learn off of them”. “Sometimes older players come down and don’t really step up for the occasion and I can’t say that about ours, so I’m really happy with their effort and what they’re bringing to the youth team when they do play.”

As for Josh Groenewald’s surprise introduction at the centre of defence, Aloisi revealed that he was happy the experiment had paid off. “Josh has actually got very good distribution, he’s got a good pass on him and we think he sees things well so we thought we’d put him on in the back,” he said.

“Plus he’s a strong physical guy so he can also win the challenges that come his way. “I thought he did quite well when he came in, the first time he’s ever played there [so] you never know, he might have a future there too.”

Man of the Match: Kristian Sarkies

The twice-capped Socceroo once again showed his ability at dead ball situations, laying on two out of the three goals for his teammates.

Melbourne Heart Verdict:

Heart were just too good for the visiting side, with Liolios, Worm and Groenewald the other outstanding players on the day. Three wins out of four matches so far this season show this is no fluke.

Newcastle Jets Verdict:

Newcastle took the game to their opponents in the first half, and almost managed to unlock the Heart defence on a few occasions, but ultimately fell short. Their task was made impossible by the needless sending-off of Simic and coach James Pascoe will surely not have been too impressed with him.

Crowd Watch:

The gloomy weather certainly didn’t deter a healthy crowd, with kids running up and down the aisles as the game progressed. An entertaining match drew applause and groans aplenty as the spectators remained dry under shelter.

Details: National Youth-League, Round 4:

11 Nov 2011 - 4:00pm - Central Coast Mariners 6 - Melbourne Victory 0 - Pluim Park, Central Coast
12 Nov 2011 - 3:30pm - Brisbane Roar FC 3 - Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) 2 - Cleveland Showgrounds, Cleveland
13 Nov 2011 - 10:00am - Perth Glory FC 5 - Sydney FC 2 - 6PR Stadium, Inglewood
13 Nov 2011 - 3:00pm - Melbourne Heart FC 3 - Newcastle Jets FC 1 - John Cain Memorial Park, Thornbury
13 Nov 2011 - 4:00pm - Gold Coast United FC 4 - Adelaide United FC 1 - Owen Park, Southport

Zee Ko, John Cain Memorial Park (Thornbury), 13 November, 2011


Crafted lovingly by hand © Magic Llama 2000 - 2011