Heart victorious at last
by Tomasz Ng:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14, Round 15
7:30pm, Friday 17 January – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Heart FC 3
(Iain Ramsay 44’, Mate Dugandzic 45’+1, 68’)
Newcastle Jets FC 1
(Taylor Regan 37’)
Melbourne Heart finally broke their 19 game run without a win, defeating the Newcastle Jets 3-1 at AAMI Park.
Despite going behind to a Taylor Regan header, Heart hit back with goals to Iain Ramsay and Mate Dugandzic just before the break.
The lightning quick winger then added gloss to the scoreline with his second goal of the night to round of a result that will bring much relief for Heart.
The home side got off to a good start and were the first to register a shot on goal in the sixth minute, when Ramsay curled a wonderful 20 yard effort towards goal but Mark Birighitti was equal to the task.
The Jets’ ‘keeper was called into action again seconds later, forced to tip the ball over as Kewell unleashed a powerful shot from the edge of the box.
Despite those early chances, the match was struggling for any sort of excitement, with the tempo being slow from both sides.
Heart were looking the more dangerous side however and had a golden opportunity when Dugandzic forced Birighitti into a poor clearance.
David Williams then intercepted the ball but was unable to hit the target.
Unfortunately for Williams his night ended early after a clash with Birighitti left him wounded, and the Jets pounced as Heart tried to regroup.
Regan made the most of a free header from a Craig Goodwin corner, looping the ball in off the far post to give Jets the lead.
Credit had to be given to Emile Heskey who barged his way through the Heart defence and won the corner.
As we have seen so often this season, Heart responded after going behind Dugandzic in particular proving a bit of handful.
Michael Mifsud had come on for the injured Williams are fired a warning shot at Birighitti in the 43rd minute.
The keeper was up to the task but had no chance of saving the next attempt a minute later.
Kewell nodded the ball down for Iain Ramsay to strike the ball on the edge of the box, and the shot took a wicked deflection off Kew Jaliens on it’s way into the back of the net.
Heart pushed on and were in the lead in first half stoppage time.
Behich found himself with plenty of time and space to cross, and put the ball straight onto the forehead of Dugandzic who simply guided it past Birighitti.
Gary van Egmond responded to going behind by making changes at half time, bringing on James Brown and Nicky Ward.
It was Brown who had an early impact, twice having shots straight at Redmayne.
After the second, Heart managed to release the pressure which the Jets had been piling on them with a swift counter attack.
The Jets defence subsequently failed to deal with an innocuous Mifsud cross, and Dugandzic pounced on the loose ball, forcing Birighitti to push the ball behind for a corner.
That stoppage in play saw the long awaited introduction of international marquee signing Orlando Engelaar and the big Dutchman’s first touch came from the corner, heading the ball well wide.
Newcastle had lost their control in the second half and went behind when Dugandzic once again went clear of the visitor’s defence.
Ramsay lobbed a ball over the top and Dugandzic simply slotted the ball past a stranded Birighitti and into the back of the net.
Dugandzic almost grabbed a hat trick three minutes later.
After shooting straight at the keeper, his shot ricocheted back towards goal but the effort was cleared by Jacob Pepper.
Heart were now well in control of the contest, and Mifsud was again the culprit for missing a gilt edged chance.
Kewell whipped in a hard low cross for the Maltese international, but he couldn’t put his foot to the ball and the chance went begging.
It was proving to be Heart’s night, as Brown once again tested Redmayne with a curling effort.
The ball wasn’t even cleared properly and made it’s way to Ward who failed to test the keeper.
Brown had one final chance in stoppage time, but like his previous effort, was well saved by Redmayne.
Heart then saw out the match to ensure they collected three points for the first time this season.
Melbourne Heart FC:
1. Andrew Redmayne [GK], 3. Robbie Wielart, 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 7. Iain Ramsay, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 10. Harry Kewell (c), 15. David Williams (11. Michael Mifsud +31’), 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman, 22. Nicholas Kalmar (4. Orlando Engelaar +59’), 23. Mate Dugandzic (19. Benjamin Garuccio +84’)
Unused Substitutes: 20. Tando Velaphi [GK], 24. Patrick Kisnorbo
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets FC:
1. Mark Birighitti [GK], 3. Taylor Regan, 4. Kew Jaliens, 5. Benjamin Kantarovski (19. Michael Bridges +61’), 6. Zenon Caravella, 8. Ruben Zadkovich, 9. Emile Heskey, 11. Craig Goodwin, 16. Jacob Pepper, 17. James Virgili (27. Nicholas Ward +46’), 21. Sam Gallaway (18. James Brown +46’)
Unused Substitutes: 20. Ben Kennedy [GK], 13. Joey Gibbs
Yellow Cards: Kantarovski 3’, Regan 13’, Pepper 62’, Brown 63’, Jaliens 90+1’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistants: Luke Brennan, Jonathan Barreiro; 4th Official: Lucien Laverdure
Ratings and points
Pitch Rating: 10/10
Game Rating: 9/10
3. Mate Dugandzic (MH)
2. Iain Ramsay (MH)
1. Mark Birighitti (NJ)
By Tomasz Ng