Thompson Hails Fighting Effort

Melbourne Heart FC’s Matt Thompson believes the side deserved its 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in Port Macquarie on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart FC-s Matt Thompson believes the side deserved its 2-0 win over the Newcastle Jets in Port Macquarie on Sunday.

Despite struggling on the road this season, Heart managed to overcome the challenge of an additional three-hour bus trip to emerge with its first ever away win.

While Thompson acknowledged the match lacked fluency early in the piece, the Socceroo said Heart had ultimately asserted control of the contest.

“I thought it took us a while to get involved in the game and get our groove so to speak. The first half was a little bit scrappy but the second half was a lot better and I think we controlled it a lot more and deserved the win,” he said.

Although Thompson admitted Heart struggled to initially adjust to the spongy surface at Port Macquarie, he said the surface was simply a hurdle which had to be navigated.

“The boys had a bit of trouble with the ball getting caught up in their feet, and a few other things. The way we like to play requires us to get balls into the midfield, and playing at home, the pitch is a lot quicker,” he said.

“But we had to adapt to that, and obviously we won today, it wasn-t pretty, but sometimes, to win like that is even better.”

After opening the scoring with a stunning volley strike, Nick Kalmar reinforced his status as a rising star of the competition, the goal his third in eight starts this season.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip praised the performance of the 23-year-old midfielder, saying the former Victorian Premier League star had developed into a vital member of the Heart side.

“Nick has been important for us from the beginning and he has scored three goals for us and today he scored a beautiful goal,” he said.

"He has a sense for the goal which is why he is playing in that position and we, of course, are very happy with him.

"I don't think there was anyone who outstanding but we played well as a team. We worked very hard it was not an easy game and I think all the boys deserve a compliment. It was a good team effort.”