Melbourne Heart v. Adelaide FC – (0-2)
Adelaide recorded a much needed win agains the Heart to keep their season rolling. The Reds had lost three of their last four and needed the points in order to keep within distance of Brisbane at the top of the A-League. Robbie Cornthwaite’s early goal helped matters, with the Heart defence apparently in limbo from an Adelaide free kick. Bolton came out and failed to claim the ball, the Reds defender calmly steering the ball home in the 5th minute. The Heart had a few half chances in the first 45, the best coming from a Gerard Sibon header, which was straight at Galekovic.
Sibon failed to score with another chance in the second half, while Behich almost scored straight from a corner and Aloisi shot at Galekovic in a fairly open contest.
Adelaide sealed the points after Behich cleverly tried to chip Bolton, and despite the shot coming back off the crossbar, Flores was on hand to tap home.
Sibon almost grabbed one back late on, yet his brilliant free kick fired back off the post and it was obvious it was not Heart’s day, despite the Melbourne side matching Adelaide for most of the match..
Newcastle Jets v. Wellington Phoenix – (1-0)
The Jets welcomed fans for free to Saturday’s match agains the Phoenix and the 12,000 odd that turned up will hopefully be back for Wednesday’s derby. With both Milicevic and Zadkovich suspended, Regan and Fiorentini took their place in the starting line-up, in what was the Italian’s long awaited full debut.
Topor-Stanley should have given the Jets the lead in the 24th minute from a Wehrman corner, yet headed the ball over with Wellington keeper Paston in no-mans-land.
Jesic had two decent chances to break the deadlock before halftime. The first blocked on the line by Ben Sigmund, while the second he blazed wide when free in the box. Earlier the youngster had hit the post from an offside position.
Despite the missed chances, Jesic finally opened the scoring, taking advantage of a Troy Hearfield slip to place a nice finish into the net after Abbas had put him through on goal.
The Jets managed to hold onto their 1-0 lead to secure only their third win of the season, with Jeffers completing a solid 70 minutes. However, it wasn’t all good news, with Topor-Stanley going off with a knee injury, while Sean Rooney also left the field with a suspected ACL.
While it was a welcoming win against an out of form side, the finishing from the Jets leaves a lot to be desired at this point in the season. Like last Wednesday against the Roar, the team just couldn’t put away their chances, and they could have had two or three goals in either match. Yet a wins a win, despite only getting a draw against Brisbane, and 7 points in 3 games is nothing to sneeze at. A good result against the scum on Wednesday is a must however, if the team are to continue their surge up the table.
Brisbane Roar v. Queensland Fury – (1-1)
Queensland Fury can feel a bit unlucky not to have secured a win against their derby rivals on Saturday as they produced a good display against the league leaders.
Despite the Roar dominating statistics, especially possession, the Fury had the better of the chances and only lost two points in the last 5 minutes.
David Williams had ensured a good start for North Queensland, setting up Gareth Edds in the 9th minute to open the scoring.
The young striker should have had a second assist to his name, but after providing Jason Spagnulo with a sitter in the second half, the winger somehow missed the goal when it was easier to score.
They were made to pay for that miss when Franjic put the ball past Pastfield for the defender’s third goal of the season only five minutes from time.
Earlier, substitute Solorzano had had a goal ruled out for offside as well as screwed a decent opportunity wide.
So despite a spirited display from the Fury they once again fell short (the story of their season), while the Roar once again managed a comeback after falling a goal behind.
Sydney FC v. Perth Glory – (2-0)
Sydney put Perth to the sword to keep their finals hopes alive, as the Western Australia side slide further and further down into the abyss.
The first half proved to be one of the most boring examples of football you could show someone, and it was no wonder why these two teams were struggling to win points.
Neither side deserved to win the tie, yet Sydney managed to pull something out the bag in the final 15 minutes. On the 75th minute Brosque ran at the Perth defence and found the overlapping run of Shannon Cole with a sweet through ball, the fullback finishing calmly past the amateur Velaphi.
While old Tando probably wasn’t at fault for the opener, he definitely could have done better 5 minutes late, when Brosque easily rounded the keeper and finished into an empty net.
Apart from the last 15 and perhaps the first 15, where there were a few half chances, the game was a largely forgettable affair and neither team showed any promise or any future challenge for a finals spot. Pathetic.
Brent Griffiths also got his marching orders in the 90th minute for a last man challenge on Brosque when he was through on goal to compound the Glory’s troubles.
central coast v. Gold Coast – (2-3)
The Gold Coast secured a thrilling 3-2 victory over the central coast after falling behind to a late first half goal.
Matt Simon had scored his fourth of the season in the 42nd minute from a Joshua Rose cross, after the mariners had dominated most of the first half play. McGlinchey and Amini drew particularly good saves out of Glenn Moss, while Daniel McBreen headed wide in the 6th minute and Matt Simon missed an open goal ten minutes later.
However Dino Djulbic poked in a loose ball after the mariners had failed to clear his own header from a corner in injury time of the first half to give the Gold Coast an equaliser.
Three goals in five minutes decided the match in the second half, with Gold Coast taking the lead through Steve Pantelidis’ first A-League goal in the 69th minute with a half-volley, before the Gold Coast failed to head a long ball clear and Glenn Moss fumbled the ball, allowing Adam Kwasnik to tap the in the equaliser.
Not two minutes later though, and the normally reliant mariners defender Alex Wilkinson made his own blunder, giving away possession cheaply for substitute Andrew Barisic to finish for the winner.
Barisic pulled an acrobatic save out of mariners keeper Matthew Ryan later on, yet that was the last of the meaningful action and Miron Beliberg’s Gold Coast are starting to look like they may yet challenge Adelaide and Brisbane for that top spot place.
The game also proves the doubters who say Gold Coast play defensive, unattractive football..as a 3-2 can hardly be deemed boring. It is also reported that keeper Glenn Moss played the final 25 minutes with a broken ankle, which is pretty hectic..
That’s all the weekend action, two games midweek and then there’ll be a MID-SEASON REVIEW…