Jets too strong for Fury

The Newcastle Jets have defeated North Queensland Fury 2-0 in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League played at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

The Newcastle Jets have defeated North Queensland Fury 2-0 in Round 14 of the Hyundai A-League played at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

Despite the presence of former Liverpool great Robbie Fowler, a 55th minute goal from Matt Thompson and an 84th minute penalty won and converted by Michael Bridges proved enough to move the Jets off the bottom of the table.

Both goals came in the second stanza after the teams had gone into halftime level at nil-all.

Newcastle shaded the match in the opening 45, enjoying the better of the first half opportunities.

On 16 minutes, Bridges found space after receiving a ball over the top from midfield, before hitting a left-footed shot on the volley wide of Paul Henderson-s goal.

In the 35th minute Fury midfielder Osama Malik blazed harmlessly high of debutant Neil Young-s crossbar. Young, 30, had been called in as a replacement for usual first team custodian Ben Kennedy who had limped off during the warm up with a groin strain, and enjoyed an excellent debut for the home team.

Just prior to halftime the Jets had three opportunities to take the lead. Twice in four minutes Labinot Haliti had shots saved by Henderson, before Thompson was denied by the Fury keeper just seconds before the break.

The Jets returned from their halftime spell eager to attack and almost took the lead immediately after the resumption of play. With tireless skipper Thompson shooting across the face of goal, the ball caught a deflection and found its way to winger Sean Rooney. Rooney-s strike seemed goal bound, but Henderson again saved his side when the Jets seemed certain to score.

The Jets did manage to find a way past the seemingly impenetrable Henderson 10 minutes into the second half. With Haliti playing a neat left foot pass to Bridges, the Englishmen slid the ball across the face of goal to find Thompson who was storming in at the far post. From just a metre out, Thompson lashed home much to the delight of the home faithful of 6,271.

Not content with a one nil lead the Jets continue to press the Fury in search of second. Italian Fabio Vignaroli, then Rooney again brought the best out of the impressive Henderson. First, Vignaroli struck a fierce volley from just inside the box which the keeper parried, while shortly after Rooney shot low from a Thompson through ball which Henderson held.

While the Fury did begin to work their way into the second half, Young wasn-t called upon to make a serious save in his Jets debut. This can be put down, in part, to the impressive defensive work of Ljubo Milicevic, Tarek Elrich, Adam D-Apuzzo and Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the Jets backline. The quartet continually nullified Fowler, former Newcastle United striker Daniel McBreen and young speedster David Williams in their search of a Fury leveller.

And just six minutes from time the Jets were rewarded with the second goal their dominance deserved. Brilliant Briton Bridges worked his way into the box following a quick thinking ball from the outstanding Song. Ex-Jet Paul Kohler, on his return to Newcastle, wrestled Bridges down, with referee Ryan Shepheard showing no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Immediately keen to take the penalty he had helped craft, Bridges shot low to Henderson-s right, sending the keeper the wrong way to ensure the Jets secured their first three points since their derby win against the Central Coast Mariners in Round 11.

Jets Head Coach Branko Culina was delighted that his side were able to get back to winning ways after a midweek loss to Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.

“I think if we can get a bit of momentum going, and have our best squad available, we-re quite capable of hurting every team in the competition.”

“We-ve beaten Gold Coast, we-ve beaten Central Coast, in my opinion we were very unlucky against both Melbourne and Sydney and they are the frontrunners. So what is there, really, to be afraid of?” he said.

Match details:
Newcastle Jets: 20. Neil YOUNG (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c) (12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE 77-), 12. Jobe WHEELHOUSE, 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES (2. Angelo COSTANZO 89-), 15. Sean ROONEY, 25. Labinot HALITI (10. Donny DE GROOT 80-)
Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk)
Yellow cards: Haliti 34-
Red cards: Nil

North Queensland Fury: 1. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 3. Chris TADROSSE (24. Dyron DAAL 69-), 9. Robbie FOWLER (c), 10. Jeremie BROCKIE, 11. David WILLIAMS, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 17. Osama MALIK (7. Jason SPAGNUOLO 61-), 18. James ROBINSON (16. Paul KOHLER 39-), 19. Daniel MCBREEN, 21. John TAMBOURAS, 23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS
Unused substitutes: 20. Justin PASFIELD (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 2
North Queensland Fury: 0
Referee: Ryan SHEPHEARD
Crowd: 6,271