Jets Hold Off Heart At AAMI Park
Melbourne Heart FC’s tough run in front of goal has continued after the side was defeated 2-0 by the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park tonight.
Melbourne Heart FC-s tough run in front of goal has continued after the side was defeated 2-0 by the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park tonight.
Despite dominating possession and producing 25 shots to the Jets- two, Heart was unable to overcome its goal drought ahead of the rematch with its cross town rivals on Saturday night as Francis Jeffers and Marko Jesic put the home side to the sword with early strikes.
Head Coach John van ‘t Schip lamented his side-s inability to convert, citing a need to improve ahead of the upcoming return encounter with Victory.
“We can-t say that we-re not having luck anymore, it-s just not good enough. If you are dominating but not scoring, it-s disappointing,” he said.
“Conceding a goal inside 15 minutes is not good for morale, and to fall 2-0 behind to 10 men is not good. Looking to the Derby, we have had three games in six days, so it-s going to be a hard and difficult game for sure.”
The match exploded into life inside 10 minutes as Jobe Wheelhouse was sent off following an altercation with teenage winger Aziz Behich.
But despite the setback, Newcastle soon took the lead through Francis Jeffers after the former Arsenal man capitalised on a goal mouth scramble to drive his shot home and give the away side the advantage.
And it was 2-0 soon after as Jeffers turned provider, threading a stellar through ball to Marko Jesic who did the rest, beautifully placing his shot past the onrushing Clint Bolton.
Following the double blow, Heart struggled to regroup as Newcastle worked tirelessly to disrupt the rhythm of the home side-s midfield, with Matt Thompson and Nick Kalmar attempting to press forward to give the side a cutting edge in the final third.
Adrian Zahra had a chance to claw a goal back just on the half hour mark, but the pacy winger was only able to fire high after pouncing on a loose ball in the area.
The youngster was presented with another opportunity to open Heart-s scoring account after the break, but he was denied by a stellar save from Jets- ‘keeper Matthew Nash.
Heart surged into control in the second period, as the returning Kristian Sarkies produced a promising display in midfield, distributing the ball with metronomic consistency to assert his dominance in the centre of the park.
A cross from Michael Marrone found Jason Hoffman unmarked in the penalty box on 61 minutes, but the Olyroo directed his header wide as Heart produced a series of chances in the final stages of the match.
Kalmar came close with a diving headed effort which ricocheted off the post before Gerald Sibon and Sarkies tested Nash with shots from just outside the area.
Rutger Worm then produced a curling shot which glanced off the crossbar in the last 10 minutes as Newcastle held on late.