Newcastle Jets managed a 2-0 win over a hapless Melbourne Heart tonight despite losing a man inside the opening ten minutes. At a sopping wet AAMI Park, the visitors lost Jobe Wheelhouse early before Francis Jeffers and Marko Jesic provided two goals before the 20-minute mark to extend their unbeaten run to six matches.
The Heart could not take a trick as they strived hard to get at least one goal back but they were unable to do so and somehow racked up a fifth game without scoring.
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne Crowd: approx. 3,000 Referee: Peter Green Yellow cards:MH - nil NJ - Ruben Zadkovich 41', Francis Jeffers 62' Red card:NJ - Jobe Wheelhouse 8'
Disaster struck for the visitors in just the 8th minute when midfielder Jobe Wheelhouse was given a straight red for his fend off on Heart left-back Aziz Behich. Wheelhouse challenged Matt Thompson before sticking his leg up when he was grounded as Behich attempted to clear the ball and the follow through from Behich did not go down well with the Jets centre man who reacted with a push towards the fact. After conferring with his linesman, referee Peter Green produced a red, reducing the Jets to ten men.
GOAL But that didn't stop Newcastle from scoring first when Francis Jeffers opened his A-League account in the 12th minute, showing his Premier League experience. The ball fell to him from a Kasey Wehrman corner and he took two touches before turning on his left and slotting past Heart keeper Clint Bolton with the help from a deflection off a defender.
GOAL Six minutes later, the Jets found themselves two up when Jeffers became the architect with a smart pass from midfield which found Marko Jesic who produced a dazzling finish past an advancing Bolton who was having a nightmare early in the piece.
With the one-man advantage the Heart went on the attack and controlled possession for the remainder of the opening 45 minutes but could not bridge the gap before the half-time whistle.
Early in the second term, the Heart were well on top with a series of three corners in a row inspired by the return to action of midfielder Kristian Sarkies who was back from a broken leg but nothing come of it as the Jets held out their advances.
Melbourne had their chances to pull one back but as has been the case in the past five matches, they were completely inefficient in front of the posts. They had over 20 shots on goal to the Jets none in the second half but were incapable of beating Matthew Nash in what was their most disappointing loss in their short history as Newcastle roll on.
MH Clint Bolton (gk), Brendan Hamill (Hoffman 27'), Simon Colosimo, Michael Beauchamp (Sarkies 46'), Aziz Behich, Michael Marrone, Nick Kalmar, Matt Thompson, Adrian Zahra, Gerald Sibon, Rutger Worm
Subs - Peter Zois (gk), Jason Hoffman (27'), Kristian Sarkies (46'), Dean Heffernan
NJ Matthew Nash (gk), Ben Kantarovski, Ljubo Milicevic, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Adam D'Apuzzo, Ruben Zadkovich, Kasey Wehrman, Jobe Wheelhouse, Marko Jesic (Fiorentini 87'), Francis Jeffers (Haliti 69'), Ali Abbas
Subs - Jack Duncan (gk), Labinot Haliti (69'), Marcello Fiorentini (87'), Sasho Petrovski