Jets taste derby defeat

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-0 by local rivals the Central Coast Mariners this evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 3-0 by local rivals the Central Coast Mariners this evening at Bluetongue Stadium.

Having sealed their spot in the 2010 finals series already, the Jets were looking to keep their top-four aspirations alive but the 10-man outfit was ultimately undone by a resolute Mariners side who scored through Nigel Boogaard, Adam Kwasnik and Matt Simon.

Boogaard opened the scoring on 17 minutes when he leaped from just outside the six yard box to powerfully head home direct from a Brad Porter corner.

Moments later and it appeared that Iraqi international Ali Abbas would level matters after English striker Michael Bridges sent in a neat cross from the right, which defender Shane Huke headed into the path of Abbas. The 23-year-old stepped in and hit a stinging first-time drive only for Mariners custodian Danny Vukovic to brilliantly parry away.

The remainder of the opening stanza became an arm-wrestle in which neither side could create another clear cut chance.

However, the home side looked to extend their lead when the hard-working Adam Kwasnik shrugged off one challenge and sent an inviting ball into the path of Porter, but the midfielder sprayed his shot from 12-yards well over the bar.

Jets skipper Matt Thompson was forced off at halftime with a hamstring complaint, with Kaz Patafta replacing him for the second 45.

The Central Coast then doubled their advantage just moments after the interval, when the robust Huke played a neat ball through for Kwasnik, who calmly lobbed the onrushing Ben Kennedy, sending the crowd of 5,842 into raptures.

Things went from bad to worse for Branko Culina-s men after that point when on 56 minutes striker Labinot Haliti was adjudged to have handled the ball deliberately to pick up his second and yellow card and his subsequent marching orders.

The Jets, though, were valiant upon going down to 10-men, creating chances through Korean livewire Jin-Hyung Song and Abbas in the second half. However, neither could convert their opportunities, with Vukovic standing tall to keep a hard-earned clean sheet.

With the one man advantage, the Mariners put the final dagger in the heart of their rivals in the 72nd minute when youngster Brady Smith played the ball across the face of goal and Simon, who reacted quickest and tapped in from close range to seal the victory.

After the match, Culina was philosophical about the loss, claiming that his side-s general play perhaps deserved more but was ultimately lacking the killer touch.

“It-s disappointing to lose but we played some good football, particularly in the first half. That was probably the best we played over the last three weeks.”

“They scored from a defensive error where we didn-t challenge and they got the lead.”

“Second half, once we had a player sent off we weren-t in the contest which was to be expected but there was a fair bit to take from that game,” he said.

The finals-bound Jets will take on Adelaide United at home this Friday, 12 February in the final round of the regular season. Tickets for this encounter are available from www.proticket.com.auor by calling (02) 4915 2345.

Match Details:
Central Coast Mariners: 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 3. Shane HUKE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 10. Panny NIKAS (6. Brady SMITH 69-), 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Chris DOIG (15. Andrew CLARK 67-), 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 23. Adam KWASNIK (12. Matt LEWIS 61-)

Unused substitutes: 30. Matthew RYAN (gk)

Yellow cards: Pedj Bojic 79-/88-

Red cards: Pedj Bojic 88-

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (2. Angelo COSTANZO 81-), 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c)(22. Kaz PATAFTA 46-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES (9. Sasho PETROVSKI 67-), 25. Labinot HALITI, 26. Ali ABBAS

Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk)

Yellow cards: Labinot Haliti 48-/57-, Ljubo Milicevic 85-

Red cards: Labinot Haliti 57-

Central Coast Mariners: 3 (Boogaard 17-, Kwasnik 51-, 72- Simon)
Newcastle Jets: 0
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 5,842