Jets triumph ends golden run for Coast

The Newcastle Jets secured a 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten Gold Coast United at EnergyAustralia Stadium this afternoon in Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.

The Newcastle Jets secured a 1-0 win over the previously unbeaten Gold Coast United at EnergyAustralia Stadium this afternoon in Round 4 of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.

A 40th minute Sean Rooney strike proved the difference between the two sides as the Jets claimed their second win of the season to move into the top half of the Hyundai A-League ladder. It was Rooney-s first ever goal, in his first start, in Hyundai A-League competition.

Good lead up play through midfield involving Italian Fabio Vignaroli and Korean Jin-Hyung Song released Rooney, with the 20-year-old beating Gold Coast-s Dutch defender Sebastiaan van den Brink before launching a powerful left footed drive inside Scott Higgins- near post.

Indeed, the Jets were well worth their one goal advantage at the break having had the better of play in the opening 45.

On 17 minutes the effervescent Song crossed into the area to find Sasho Petrovski, with the experienced marksman-s shot on the turn well smothered by Gold Coast custodian Higgins.

Later, and another unfortunate injury to Shaun Ontong, this time to his Achilles, forced Jets Head Coach Branko Culina into an early change, with Kaz Patafta replacing his teammate in midfield.

Culina had to play another of his substitution cards at halftime, bringing on Angelo Costanzo for his 300th national league appearance in favour of Vignaroli, who succumbed to a slight hamstring complaint.

The changes didn-t thwart the Jets momentum however, with the home side quick to shut down their opposition and threatening to extend their lead early into the second half.

Patafta looked especially dangerous from the right side of midfield, shooting just over on 52 minutes before forcing a smart save from Higgins after a superb ball from Ljubo Milicevic on the 66 minute mark.

Just a minute later Culina emptied his bench, giving Petrovski a rest and youngster Jason Naidovski more time on the pitch.

And, whilst the midfield opened up in the final 20 minutes of the game, neither keeper was made to sweat as attacking raids from both sides ended in either tame strikes or timely interceptions.

Jets mentor Culina was delighted with the performance of his troops particularly in light of the reshuffle that was necessary due to the injuries to Ontong and Vignaroli.

“It was terrific,” he explained. “I just briefly looked at some statistics there and they had 59% possession of the ball but I thought the best chances by far fell to us.”

“I was disappointed that we didn-t take one or two others because it was too close for comfort considering the number of chances that we had.”

“We were not going to allow them to play. If you put pressure on the supplier, then the guy at the other end is going to have difficulty converting,” Culina said.

Match Details:
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Hyung SONG, 8. Matt THOMPSON (c), 9. Sasho PETROVSKI (19. Jason NAIDOVSKI 67-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 13. Shaun ONTONG (22. Kaz PATAFTA 31-), 15. Sean ROONEY, 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI (2. Angelo COSTANZO 45-)
Unused substitutes: 20. Neil YOUNG (gk)
Yellow cards: Ljubo Milicevic 38-, Sasho Petrovski 45+1-
Red cards: Nil

Gold Coast United: 20. Scott HIGGINS (gk), 2. Steve PANTELIDIS (11. MILSON 56-), 3. Michael THWAITE, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 10. Jason CULINA (c), 13. Sebastiaan VAN DEN BRINK, 14. Joel PORTER, 16. Kristian REES, 22. Adama TRAORE, 23. Steve FITZSIMMONS (24. ANDERSON 65-)
Unused substitutes: 40. Robert BAJIC (gk), 4. Daniel PIORKOWSKI
Yellow cards: Adama Traore 51-, Michael Thwaite 88-
Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1 (Rooney 40-)
Gold Coast United: 0
Referee: Matthew BREEZE
Crowd: 6,390