Jets undone by red hot Adelaide

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 by Adelaide United at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 2-1 by Adelaide United at EnergyAustralia Stadium this evening.

Despite a stunning strike from impressive Iraqi midfielder Ali Abbas in the 41st minute, goals from Reds duo Fabian Barbiero and Matthew Leckie proved enough for a resurgent Adelaide outfit to leave the Hunter with three competition points.

Indeed, 6,880 Jets fans turned out to bid farewell to club captain Matthew Thompson in his final match leading the Jets on home turf.

Jets supporter group ‘The Squadron- produced a glowing tribute to the Hyundai A-League-s all-time highest appearance maker, with a number of banners combining to honour the Qantas Socceroo by aptly, simply, and succinctly spelling the words ‘Thanks Thommo-.

On the field Newcastle started slowly and Adelaide, who are preparing for their third tilt at AFC Champions League glory starting this month, took the upper hand.

Barbiero unleashed an unstoppable volley from the edge of the area just eight minutes in, leaving Jets custodian Ben Kennedy with no chance.

Barbiero almost doubled his teams and his personal tally moments later. With the ball kicked into the Adelaide midfielder as the Jets looked to clear their lines, Kennedy reacted well to save what would have been one of the most absurd goals in the competition this season.

Slowly the Jets began to claim their share of possession, with Abbas looking particularly lively and debutant Mirjan Pavlovic working hard in his first outing in the senior side.

And the two combined in the 41st minute as Newcastle restored parity before the break.

With a long ball being launched forward from defence, Pavlovic chested down for Abbas who took a steadying touch before launching an unstoppable drive past Adelaide ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic. Galekovic got one glove on Abbas- effort, but the shot had too much heat and would deservedly level proceedings.

Pavlovic was again in the thick of the action just moments before halftime when he showed grit and graft to craft an opening for experienced Englishman Michael Bridges. Bridges just failed to fully connect with the 20-year-old-s ball across the face of goal, much to the relief of the scattering of Reds diehards among the crowd.

Following the break an inspired looking Newcastle took it to the South Australians with Thompson and defender Ben Kantarovski both forcing smart saves from Qantas Socceroo Galekovic.

But, it was with a quarter of an hour left that the Reds manufactured an opening Jets coach Branko Culina will not want to view again.

With Pantelis wide on the right, the in-form winger drifted through two Newcastle defenders before making his way into the box. Spotting an unmarked Leckie close to the penalty spot, Pantelis picked out the youngster with ease and Leckie made no mistake in putting Adelaide back into the lead.

Abbas was clearly enthused by the atmosphere of the evening and just two minutes later he struck another fine effort – this time to Galekovic-s left – only to see the custodian equal to the task.

And while Culina handed another debut to National Youth League player Scott Balderson and deployed Sasho Petrovski in search of a morale lifting result ahead of the Jets- finals crusade, a win just wasn-t to be in the final home game of the season.

Newcastle now awaits other results in the Hyundai A-League competition over the coming days in order to know who they-ll face in their first finals match next weekend.

And despite the loss Jets mentor Culina is still confident his team will move into this year-s finals series full of confidence.

“You can also gain confidence by putting in a good performance and I thought, take away the first thirty minutes of the first half when we were truly awful, we were very good.”

“Second half, Eugene Galekovic made some brilliant saves. So I thought the second half was good and that will give the players confidence (going into the finals),” he said.

Match Details:
Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2. Angelo COSTANZO, 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 6. Ben KANTAROVSKI (27. Scott BALDERSON 72-), 8. Matt THOMPSON (c) (22. Kaz PATAFTA 61-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 14. Michael BRIDGES (9. Sasho PETROVSKI 77-), 16. Jason HOFFMAN, 26. Ali ABBAS, 29. Mirjan PAVLOVIC
Unused substitutes: 30. Dion SHAW (gk)
Yellow cards: Hoffman 70-
Red cards: Nil

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene GALEKOVIC, 2. Robert CORNTHWAITE, 4. Iain FYFE, 5. Daniel MULLEN, 7. Lucas PANTELIS (11. Lloyd OWUSU 87-), 13. Travis DODD (c), 14. Scott JAMIESON, 17. Michael MARRONE, 18. Fabian BARBIERO (10. Adam HUGHES 74-), 19. Matthew LECKIE, 24. Marcos FLORES (6. CASSIO 69-)
Unused substitutes: 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 1 (Abbas 41-)
Adelaide United: 2 (Barbiero 8-, Leckie 74-)
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Crowd: 6,880