Melbourne Heart grabbed their first A-League point tonight in a 1-1 draw with the Newcastle Jets. Newcastle recruit Jeremy Brockie scored his first goal for his new club in the 60th minute before an unfortunate own goal by Ben Kantarovski got the Heart back in the contest and eventually got them off the mark in their A-League career.
The Jets started brightly with the likes of Marko Jesic and Ali Abbas causing a few problems for the Heart defence but the visitors found their way into the game after an initial slow start with Dutchman Gerald Sibon proving the main danger.
The 18th minute saw Newcastle come extremely close to an opener when Jesic was played in whilst Melbourne were down to ten men when Josip Skoko was forced off with injury but an advancing Clint Bolton got enough of a touch on the ball to see it trickle past the upright. Things were looking ominous for the Heart as Newcastle continuously pushed forward, creating plenty of chances.
Heart again settled things down just as the Jets were looking to have a monopoly on proceedings and found a few avenues toward goal themselves, the best coming when Nick Kalmar powered a header goalward which was kept out by a brilliant Ben Kennedy reflex save and the last play of any consequence for the opening half.
The contest evened out slightly in the second term with Melbourne forcing themselves into the match but it was to no avail GOAL when Jeremy Brockie received the ball down the right flank, cut back inside and placed his left footed shot under the outstretched arm of Bolton and into the back of the net right on the hour-mark.
The Heart were struggling to make any headway in the final twenty minutes of the match as the Jets chased a second goal which they did manage to score. GOAL However, it was down the other end as young midfielder Ben Kantarovski somehow deflected the ball into his own net after Heart's Michael Marrone made a dangerous run outside the area.
The newest A-League team finally got their first goal and although it probably wasn't exactly what they had in mind, they would take anything especially when looking down the barrel of a second-straight loss.
But a loss it wasn't with neither side being able to grab a winner and the score ending 1-1 at full-time giving the Jets a second draw of the season and the Heart their first A-League point.
Starting Line-UpsNJ Ben Kennedy (gk), Adam D'Apuzzo, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Ljubo Milicevic, Ben Kanarovski, Kasey Wehrman (Elrich 85'), Michael Bridges, Ruben Zadkovich, Jeremy Brockie (Haliti 74'), Marko Jesic, Ali Abbas (Wheelhouse 69')
Subs - Paul Henderson (gk), Tarek Elrich (85'), Jobe Wheelhouse (69'), Labinot Haliti (74')
MH Clint Bolton (gk), Michael Marrone, Simon Colosimo, Michael Beauchamp, Matt Thompson, Rutger Worm, Gerald Sibon, Alex Terra, Josip Skoko (Srhoj 19'), Nick Kalmar (Hamill 61'), Dean Heffernan (Babalj 77')