Dour draw for Heart and Jets
by Tomasz Ng:
Foxtel National Youth League 2013/2014 – Round 12
3:00pm, Saturday 18 January 2014 – Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart FC 0
Newcastle Jets FC 0
Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets played out an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Epping Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ross Archibald struck the crossbar late in the first half, while Radovan Pavicevic came close for the Jets after his effort was just barely stopped on the line by Tando Velaphi.
In a slow start to the contest, Newcastle were the first to register an attempt on goal when Mitchell Oxborrow pounced on a poor pass by Retre, but his 25 yard effort was weak and easily caught by Velaphi.
The game was struggling for any sort of rhythm, with both sides struggling to get the ball out of midfield.
Golgol Mebrahtu tried his best to spark some sort of life into the game with an effort on a tight angle, but Ben Kennedy was well positioned and beat the ball behind for a corner.
Heart were looking the more likely side to create any sort of opening, and had the best passage of play in the 36th minute.
Paulo Retre did well to skip past a midfielder before laying a perfectly weighted through ball for Mebrahtu, which the winger cut back for an on-coming Marcus Schroen.
Unfortunately for the home side he skied his effort over the bar to waste the chance.
Three minutes later Jonatan Germano rifled a shot towards the top corner but Kennedy was well up to the task and tipped it round the post.
Heart then had golden chances to take the lead before the break, with Archibald first skying a shot over the bar from a goalmouth scramble , then cracking a header onto the crossbar from another corner.
Having survived the scare, the Jets came out strong after the break and almost took the lead early on when Oxborrow forced Velaphi into a diving save, and the ball rebounded to Pavicevic.
While he seemed likely to score, Velaphi managed to get himself back up to save the shot just before it crossed the line.
They had to wait until the 68th minute before their next opportunity, which came from a long pass from Ben Kennedy.
The keeper was put under pressure by Luke O’Dea but managed to pick out the run by Matthew Bilic, putting him in behind Heart’s defence.
Unfortunately for the visitors, Bilic flashed his shot just wide of the far post, giving Heart a reprieve.
The home side then had a chance of their own in the 75th minute when Mebrahtu set up Alexander Dao, and the substitute rifled a shot that just missed the post.
Some smart work from Luke O’Dea five minutes later almost brought about another goal, but first Retre squandered a chance by shooting straight at a defender, then Mebrahtu smashed the rebound at Kennedy.
Heart had one final chance in the 90th minute when Stipo Andrijasevic was presented with a free header inside the box, but he placed it straight into Kennedy’s grasp and let the opportunity slip.
Crowd: ~ 200
Melbourne Heart FC:
1. Tando Velaphi [GK], 2. Jeremy Walker (12.Stipo Andrijasevic +61′), 3. Philip Petreski, 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. Ross Archibald (c), 8. Paulo Retre, 10. Marcus Schroen (9. Luke O’Dea +61′), 11. Golgol Mebrahtu, 13. Jonatan Germano (6. Alexander Dao +61′), 14. Ersin Kaya, 15. Sam Mitchinson
Unused Substitutes: 16. Marko Stevanja [GK]
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets FC:
1. Ben Kennedy [GK], 2. Michael Finlayson, 3. Thomas Whiteside, 4. Josh Mitchell, 5. Matthew Bilic, 6. Mitchell Oxborrow, 7. Radovan Pavicevic, 8. Nicholas Cowburn, 9. Kale Bradbery, 10. Thomas Waller (14. Andrew Pawiak +41′), 11. Brandon Lundy (12. Benjamin Hay +60)
Unused Substitutes: 20. Adam Pearce [GK]
Yellow Cards: Oxborrow 85′
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Harley Natis
Assistants: Wilson Brown, Adam Bavcar; 4th Official – Greg Gontscharow
Pitch Rating: 8/10
Game Rating: 2/10
Ones to watch: Ross Archibald (MHT), Mitchell Oxborrow (NEW)