Three goals in six minutes stun Newcastle

by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of

Hyundai A-League – Season 10 – 2014/2015 – Round 9
5pm, Saturday 6 December, 2014 – Hunter Stadium, Broadmeadow

Newcastle Jets FC 1
lost to
Wellington Phoenix FC 3


Three goals in six second half minutes saw Wellington Phoenix stun Newcastle Jets 3-1 in front of 9,152 fans at Hunter Stadium on December 6, their come-from-behind Hyundai A-League win consolidating their fifth placing and allowing them to close on Sydney FC above them.

The early withdrawal through injury of Newcastle’s Billy Celeski was the only incident of note inside the opening ten minutes, although Wellington were definitely in the ascendancy early on.

They first looked to turn that into a goal in the thirteenth minute, with Alex Rodriguez and Michael McGlinchey combining to play Roy Krishna in behind the defence. Ben Kennedy, recalled to Newcastle’s goal, was alert to the danger, however, and saved at the Fijian’s feet.

The ‘keeper instantly sparked a Newcastle counter-attack which was route one in nature, David Carney heading Kennedy’s clearance into the stride of Joel Griffiths. Glen Moss blocked his attempted lob at close quarters, but Griffiths was first to react to the rebound, and directed a lobbed volley against the crossbar, with the fast-retreating figure of Ben Sigmund heading the rebound to safety.

Wellington spurned a great chance to open the scoring in the 21st minute. Rodriguez and Roly Bonevacia combined with Nathan Burns on the right for the former Newcastle man to deliver an inch-perfect cross into the stride of McGlinchey, as he arrived on the edge of the six-yard box.

How he managed to send the ball skywards from there, only he will know, but from potentially being in front on the scoreboard, Wellington found themselves trailing in the 24th minute.

Celeski’s replacement, Jacob Pepper, released Carney down the right. He checked inside before picking out Andrew Hoole, racing up in support beyond the far post, from where he directed a first-time pass into the stride of Griffiths.

Wellington rightly appealed for offside – and the flag should have been raised because the Newcastle striker was in just such a position when Hoole played his pass. But the flag stayed down, and Griffiths bundled the ball home from four yards before celebrating his fourth goal in as many matches against the Kiwi team.

The visitors were well miffed, and their mood wasn’t enhanced by the denial of a penalty two minutes later, although A-League refereeing newbie Adam Fielding’s call not to punish Kew Jaliens for a clear case of ball striking hand was the correct one.

When next Wellington attacked, it was thanks to Andrew Durante releasing Thomas Doyle down the left. Kennedy spilled his cross, and McGlinchey swiftly swooped on the scene, only to be denied by the fast-recovering ‘keeper from the tightest of angles I the 31st minute.

Seven minutes later, another gem of a well-weighted pass from Hoole found Griffiths racing in on goal once more. But he was again denied by Moss, who stood his ground so was able to pluck the striker’s attempted lob at close range.

Wellington were fortunate not to go two goals down three minutes before half-time, when an acute-angled Carney free-kick crashed against the far angle of crossbar and post.

It sparked a counter-attack by the visitors which featured Doyle and Rodriguez, who played McGlinchey through once more. But once again, the striker fluffed his lines, shooting straight at Kennedy when an equaliser appeared inevitable.

The goalscoring yips spread to Krishna nine minutes into the second spell. Burns fed McGlinchey, whose through ball in behind the defence allowed the Fijian in with just Kennedy to beat. But the striker’s first touch was terrible – akin to a pass-back to a very grateful goalkeeper.

After Scott Gallagher had sent one sizzling past Moss’ right-hand post from twenty-five yards just after the hour mark, another Burns-led raid left Wellington wondering if they were destined to endure yet another road trip defeat.

Krishna made an angled run which drew the defence and left Burns to roll the ball into the stride of Bonevacia, who was storming through the inside-left channel. The midfielder surged into the penalty area, where he was taken out from behind by Scott Neville, the defender taking ball and opponent at the same time.

Unbelievably, rookie referee Fielding waved play on … as Bill Shankly once said of referees, “They may know the rules, but they don’t know the game”. Mr Fielding’s knowledge of the rules is in doubt, based on this non-decision.

With eighteen minutes to play, Newcastle were a goal to the good, but had removed their best player, Hoole, from the fray. Within six minutes, Wellington had turned things around completely, and led shell-shocked opponents 3-1.

There was no indication of what was about to happen when Ben Sigmund broke up a 73rd minute Newcastle raid and brought the ball out of defence before playing it to Bonevacia.

The Dutchman’s pass into space found Burns making an angled run from left to right which took him behind the defence. His momentum allowed the league’s leading marksman to carry on around the approaching figure of Kennedy, which left Burns with an empty net in which to place the ball, a feat the former Newcastle striker accomplished confidently.

The home team was stunned, so much so that 75 seconds later, they fell behind. Krishna played the ball inside to McGlinchey, who touched it on for Burns. His pass wide to Bonevacia allowed the midfielder to turn Gallagher this way and that before unleashing a cross-shot which struck the far post.

When the ball was hit, McGlinchey was in an offside position, so when the rebound fell invitingly into his path, he gleefully turned it home from three yards. As with Newcastle’s goal, the offside flag remained conspicuous by its absence – a case of two wrongs cancelling each other out.

In this case, it left Newcastle on the ropes, and in the 78th minute, Krishna delivered a stunning knockout blow. Taking a Bonevacia pass in his stride, the Fijian let rip from twenty-five yards, leaving Kennedy clutching at thin air as a screamer crashed into the net behind him.

3-1, game over. A couple of long-range efforts from Carney – inches over – and Ben Kantarovski – saved by Moss – sandwiched a Burns twenty-five yarder which Kennedy saved in the minutes remaining, but Wellington’s quick-fire treble allowed them to maintain their remarkable record against Newcastle, against whom they’ve recorded fourteen wins in twenty-three matches.
Match details
Crowd: 9,152
Newcastle United Jets FC :    Kennedy (gk) ; Neville, Jaliens, Madaschi, Gallagher; Celeski (Pepper, 8), Griffiths, Kantarovski; Carney, Montano (Cooper, 79), Hoole (Neumann, 68)
Wellington Phoenix FC:     Moss (gk); Muscat, Sigmund, Durante, Doyle (Fenton, 46); Bonevacia, (Cunningham, 86) Riera, Rodriguez (Lia, 70); Burns, McGlinchey, Krishna (booked, 86)

Match  6/10
Referee: Adam Fielding 5/10
Pitch  7/10
Players points:
3.  Bonevacia (WP)
2.  Hoole (NJ)
1.  Madaschi (NJ)