Jets claim conquest in Queensland

The Newcastle Jets have claimed a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Brisbane Roar this evening at Suncorp Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have claimed a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Brisbane Roar this evening at Suncorp Stadium.

A second half strike by skipper Matt Thompson, followed moments later by a penalty to English striker Michael Bridges, was enough for the visitors to bring the valuable three competition points back to the Hunter Valley.

Newcastle set out their stall in a cautious manner after suffering a midweek defeat to the high-flying Gold Coast United, and the result was a somewhat fragmented first 45 minutes with clear-cut opportunities on goal few and far between.

The Roar-s Brazilian striker Reinaldo looked to shake things up in the 27th minute though, when he hit a thunderous shot on the turn from 20-yards out only to see the ball fly harmlessly wide of Ben Kennedy-s goal.

Meanwhile, the Jets- only real chance in the opening period fell to the classy Bridges just two minutes prior to the halftime whistle. The move was started by livewire Korean import Jin-Hyung Song, who sent in a deep cross for Thompson who feigned to shoot before laying the ball into the path of Bridges on the edge of the area. The former English Premier League striker, however, hit his first-time strike over the bar to send the sides into the dressing rooms locked at 0-0.

Head Coach Branko Culina then looked to change the formation at the interval, most notably with the influential Thompson being pushed further up the park to provide greater support for Bridges in the final third.

And the move paid immediate dividends as the strike pair combined beautifully to give the visitors a hard earned advantage just five minutes into the second half.

Midfield fulcrum Jobe Wheelhouse knocked the ball into Bridges inside Roar territory and, in a moment of inspiration, the Englishman backheeled the ball in behind the defense and into the path of Thompson, who made no mistake once one-on-one with debutant goalkeeper Matt Ham.

It wasn-t long before Newcastle doubled their lead, with Thompson winning his side a penalty in the 55th minute with young defender Matt Mundy adjudged to have handled the ball whilst trying to stop the in-form Jets- utility. Bridges stepped up confidently to take the spot-kick and duly dispatched it to take his season tally to six goals.

It was to be a lead that Newcastle would maintain throughout the remainder of the second stanza, but they had to withstand a late flurry from a desperate Brisbane outfit.

Reinaldo and Qantas Young Socceroo Luke Devere both had opportunities to etch their name on the scoresheet late in the game but neither could direct their powerful headers past a comfortable Kennedy in the Jets goal.

After the match Culina explained that the previous week had been a taxing time for his troops, having to play three games in the space of six days, but the coach was delighted by the response that he received from his players.

“It-s been a tough week for us, Sunday (against Melbourne) with ten men for about sixty minutes, backing up against a very good side in Gold Coast on Wednesday, and then two days later against Brisbane Roar, who were determined to try to get back on the winning track.”

“So I-m very pleased. We had a scrappy first half but we made a few adjustments at halftime and that seemed to have done the trick,” he said.

The win lifts the Jets into fourth position on the ladder as the team returns home to prepare for their epic Hyundai A-League round 24 clash against intra-state rivals Sydney FC at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday, 24 January. Tickets for this blockbuster encounter are available from www.proticket.com.auor by calling (02) 4915 2345.

Match Details:
Brisbane Roar: 1.Matt HAM (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Pieter COLLEN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (14.Adam SAROTA 77-), 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 11.REINALDO, 12.Matthew MUNDY (17. Mitch NICHOLS 60-), 15.Matt McKAY (c), 19.Isaka CERNAK (21.Tommy OAR 46-), 22.Ivan FRANJIC

Unused substitutes: 30. Matt ACTON (gk)

Yellow cards: Adam Sarota 78-

Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c)(26. Ali ABBAS 76-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 14. Michael BRIDGES (15. Sean ROONEY 66-)

Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk), 22. Kaz PATAFTA

Yellow cards: Nil

Red cards: Nil

Brisbane Roar: 0
Newcastle Jets: 2 (Thompson 50-, Bridges 55-(pen))
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 6,680