Jets Youth too good for Victory
By Tomasz Ng
Foxtel National Youth League 2013/14 – Round 7
Sunday 8 December, 2:05pm, AAMI Park – Melbourne
Melbourne Victory FC 1 (Stella 14′)
Newcastle Jets FC 2 (Gibbs 35′ Virgili 40′)
An inspired James Virgili led Newcastle Jets Youth to a 2-1 comeback win over Melbourne Victory Youth at AAMI Park.
Virgili provided the assist for the first goal by Joey Gibbs while adding a goal of his own to cancel out Francesco Stella’s opener for the hosts.
It was a game that really failed to hit any heights, but had just enough action to keep the crowd interested.
Jets packed their lineup with four overage players and other first team squad members and their experience allowed them to dictate most of the play in the first half.
Michael Bridges, Kale Bradbery, Gibbs and Virgili looked in sync early on, with Gibbs recording the first shot at goal.
He had found space inside the box, and tried to catch Keegan Coulter off his line but the lobbed effort went well wide.
Victory had been content to soak in the pressure and counter attack at every opportunity, and their first goal came just that way.
Francesco Stella had manged to find a pocket of space outside the area, and fired a shot at goal, which was deflected into the back of the net.
He almost scored another deflected effort two minutes later, but that effort came off the post and the rebound was sent into the side netting by Christopher Cristaldo.
As the game threatened to become a midfield battle, James Virgili then came into his own and showed the kind of form that he has shown in the past few weeks.
He had a decent effort at goal on 22 minutes which forced a good save low down by Coulter, and was beginning to really trouble Victory’s left back Dylan Murnane.
Jets were beginning to look likely scorers of the next goal, and it did come courtesy of a Gibbs header, from a Virgili cross.
Having scored the equaliser, Newcastle pushed on for the lead before half time and managed to get it through Virgili.
The quick winger managed to catch the Victory defence napping and broke the offside trap, rounding Coulter and tapping the ball into the goal.
Victory were unable to sustain any pressure on the Jets, and most of their attacks fizzled to nothing.
After the break they came out the stronger side and had a couple of attempts at goal.
First it was Stella with a shot over the bar from outside the box, then Cristaldo shot just slightly to the keepers right from the tip of the box, making it an easy save for Jets’ keeper John Solari.
After the usual wave of substitutions on the hour mark, one of the replacements Mitch Cooper also scored a dipping effort from outside the box, but the ball went just over the crossbar.
Mitchell Oxborrow then had a chance to put his name on the scoresheet, but his effort on goal was well saved by Coulter.
Victory had more possession in the second half, and even had a penalty shout when Stella felt he was fouled inside the box with 15 minutes left to play.
The referee waved it away however, and Stella’s good work in trying to shift the wall of defenders was put to waste.
Newcastle then should have sealed it a couple of minutes later, when Kale Bradbery missed an absolute sitter, after Virgili had done all the hard work to get a good low cross in.
The home side pushed hard until the end of the game, but they were unable to break the Newcastle defence and now slump to their third defeat in a row.
Newcastle can be buoyed by the result however and move up to second on the table with their fourth consecutive win.
Melbourne Victory FC:
1. Keegan Coulter [GK], 3. Milos Ridesic, 4. James Karvelis (2. Christian Cavallo +60′), 5. Dylan Murnane, 6. Jordan Brown (10. John Buceto +60′), 7. Christopher Cristaldo, 8. Luc Jeggo (C), 9. Jesse Makarounas, 11. Anthony Proia (12. Anthony Duzel +60′), 16. Scott Galloway, 18. Francesco Stella
Unused subs: 20. Gian Tapia
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets FC:
1. John Solari [GK], 2. Michael Finlayson, 3. Connor Chapman, 4. Nicholas Cowburn, 5. Matthew Bilic, 6. Zenon Caravella, 7. James Virgili, 8. Mitchell Oxborrow, 9. Michael Bridges, 10. Joey Gibbs, 11. Kale Bradbery
Unused subs: 20. Adam Pearce
Yellow Cards: Caravella 87′
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Greg Gontscharow
Assistants: Wilson Brown, Jordan English, Patrick Chaplin
Game rating: 7/10
Best performers: Francesco Stella (MVFC), James Virgili (NEW)