No glory for luckless Jets

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 1-0 by Perth Glory at EnergyAustralia Stadium tonight in their Hyundai A-League 2009/10 Round 8 encounter.

The Newcastle Jets have been defeated 1-0 by Perth Glory at EnergyAustralia Stadium tonight in their Hyundai A-League 2009/10 Round 8 encounter.

An 80th minute penalty, won and converted by Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski, was all that separated the two sides at the final whistle, with the Jets putting on a fine general performance but unable to convert their play into competition points.

Indeed, it was Newcastle who dominated the game in terms of goal scoring opportunities, and just five minutes in the impressive Labinot Haliti forced a save from Glory ‘keeper Tando Velaphi, with Korean Jin-Hyung Song going close only two minutes later.

Having been fed by a flying Kaz Patafta down the right flank, Song beat his marker before unleashing a strike seemingly goal bound. Amazingly, Perth custodian Velaphi held onto the stinging shot at the first attempt to thwart the Jets- best attack of the opening stages.

Newcastle continued to dominate and on 16 minutes looked certain to score. Once again, it was the combination of Song and Patafta that unlocked the Glory defence, however with the duo-s roles reversed.

Nodding down from a Fabio Vignaroli chip into the box, Song found Patafta, with the diminutive midfielder beating three Perth defenders before sending his shot wide.

Glory-s best chance of the first half came via Serbian striker Branko Jelic just before the half hour. The ex-Energie Cottbus player rifled a thunderous half volley at goal from 25 yards, only to see Newcastle number one Ben Kennedy palm the effort to safety.

Haliti continued to repay the faith bestowed in him by Branko Culina with two fine moments before halftime. First, the Kosovo born attacker struck Velaphi-s right post with a strong angled drive, then teed up Song in the box with an inch perfect cross, only for the Korean-s header to fly wide of Velaphi-s goal.

The second half was largely devoid of definite opportunities to open the scoring, with both Culina and David Mitchell opting to tinker with their line-ups.

Culina went in search of the goal Newcastle-s dominance deserved by bringing on young striker Jason Naidovski and Iraqi winger Ali Abbas. Mitchell, however, decided on midfielder Todd Howarth and defender Scott Neville in favour of the attack minded Jelic and Wayne Srhoj.

In the end, it was a momentary lapse in concentration from Newcastle that resulted in Glory claiming all three points. Fed through by Qantas Socceroos teammate Jacob Burns, Sterjovski was felled in the box, blasting the resultant spot kick home for Perth to secure their second straight win.

The home side threw everything forward in the dying stages to salvage a result, but were ultimately denied by a resolute Perth rearguard.

Culina was understandably left frustrated after his side put on another fine performance for no competition points.

“Again I feel disappointed for the players because we try and play football, and we will continue to try and play football.”

“Nothing will change, in that respect, while I-m the coach. We will endeavour to play our way out of trouble.”

“We have got, I believe, a good squad of players who need to continue to believe in themselves and the results will come,” he said.

Match details:

Newcastle Jets:
1. Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3. Adam D-APUZZO, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Ljubo MILICEVIC, 7. Jin-Jung SONG, 8. Matthew THOMPSON (c), 10. Donny DE GROOT (19. Jason NAIDOVSKI 63-), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 17. Fabio VIGNAROLI, 22. Kaz PATAFTA (2. Angelo COSTANZO 83-), 25. Labinot HALITI (26. Ali ABBAS 71-)
Unused substitutes: 20. Neil YOUNG (gk)
Yellow cards: Ben Kennedy 80-, Matt Thompson 88-
Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory:
1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 6. Chris COYNE, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 8. Victor SIKORA (23. Andrija JUKIC 90+1-), 10. Wayne SRHOJ (12. Scott NEVILLE 72-), 11. Branko JELIC (17. Todd HOWARTH 45-), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI
Unused substitutes: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil

Newcastle Jets: 0
Perth Glory: 1 (Sterjovski 80-)
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 4,738