Chasing their first win at home since October, the Newcastle Jets struggled to break down a resilient Brisbane defence. Brisbane’s equal league-best defensive record proved too difficult to penetrate as it ran out a 1-0 victory at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Jets spent the first half running into a strong breeze that made attacking difficult. While Brisbane coasted with the wind at its back as it peppered Newcastle’s defence who managed to hold off the visitors’ seven shots in the first half.
Roar winger Carlo Amiento thrived on the corners, and almost scored directly from the set piece on multiple occasions. Newcastle’s only key chance came from Angus Thurgate hitting the woodwork from a Beka Mikeltadze cross in the fourth minute.
The key moment of the first half was the beginning of the 20-minute walkouts that will happen across the league. Terrace Novocastria abandoned the active support bay, sending the message that the fans are more important than money.
Arthur Papas admitted it was a disappointing sight post-game, but he understands the need for change.
“Fans are the lifeblood of the league at the end of the day,” Papas said.
“It’s been a tough week for the league, I respect our supporters a lot. I can understand why they’ve made their decision, but our players probably get hurt by that decision, to be honest.
“We need our active support, it would’ve been really important to have them singing all game for us and carry us through.”
More Football News
The home side’s frustrations continued to start the second half, giving away multiple fouls in their defensive third. Carl Jenkinson earnt himself a yellow for a needless challenge and veteran goalkeeper Jack Duncan kept the hosts level with an incredible reflex save.
The Jets finished the game with 18 fouls and four yellow cards in a questionable disciplinary performance. They managed to keep out the Roar’s advances from set pieces but couldn’t find avenues to goals of their own.
The dam wall was broken in the 80th minute when Nikola Mileusnić’s deflected bicycle kick fell back to him for a second-chance shot that went through the hands of Duncan.
Newcastle had the chance to equalise just minutes later when Jaushua Sotirio got taken down in the box but their cries for a penalty were denied by referee Ams Kurt.
Papas believes his side defended well but has a few things to work on before Wednesday’s game against the Mariners.
“There were a lot of set pieces that we had to deal with, and I think we did it well,” Papas said.
“We defended quite well overall, we had to block quite a bit in the box and close areas.
“That’s the first goal we’ve conceded from a second phase of a set-piece. So, we’ll review it and make sure we don’t let it happen again.”
In the only highlight for Newcastle, homegrown hero Jason Hoffman made an appearance from the bench to become the most-capped Jets player of all time. He made his 211th appearance to pass Ben Kantarovski in front of friends and family.
While he’s proud of the achievement, Hoffman told The Inner Sanctum it’ll mean more once he deals with the loss.
“After the dust settles from what was really a disappointing loss, I think I will be very proud to look back at what I’ve accomplished,” Hoffman said.
“I didn’t really think we deserved to lose that one even though we didn’t have many clear-cut chances, we certainly had the run of the game.
“On a personal note, I thought it was really nice to do it at home with my wife and family here.”
The fan walkout added a sour note to Hoffman’s special night, though he understands why it was necessary.
“As a player, you always want your home fans supporting you whenever they can,” he said.
“We expected it to happen, so we did our best to focus on our game and not let the outside affect us.
“I’m not going to lie; the players absolutely adore having our fans drive us home when things are tight and the game is in the balance. But it’s more disappointing that we let ourselves down tonight.”
Subscribe to our newsletter!