Photo: Some pitches for jets leave a lot to be desired [PlessPix]
Newcastle Jets 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
A goal in the dying seconds by substitute Sasha Petrovski salvaged a 1-1 draw for the Newcastle Jets in the derby match against Central Coast Mariners at EnergyAustralia Stadium last night.
The re-laid pitch was again terrible and I can hardly wait to see what David Beckham and his Los Angeles Galaxy side make of it on Saturday.
The pitch was to blame for Sean Rooney’s knee injury last weekend and he will undergo knee ligament surgery soon.
Last night, it was captain Ljubo Milicevic’s turn as he twisted an ankle and had to be substituted at half-time. Francis Jeffers lasted only half an hour before going off because of a groin strain. Whether the pitch can also be blamed for that is uncertain, but neither player is likely to be able to face the Galaxy.
Jeffers had a good chance after just 9 minutes from Marko Jesic’s pass, but the former England international fired wide.
The Mariners went close to scoring in the 31st minute through Bozanic, but Ben Kennedy, who had earlier denied Matt Simon, smothered the shot.
In the 39th minute, Milicevic had a header following a corner saved on the line by Josh Rose.
A minute later, a dangerous shot from range by Ali Abbas was saved at full stretch by Matt Ryan.
The Mariners went ahead in the 49th minute when Mustafa Amini’s attempted pass ricocheted off Ben Kantarovski’s shin and the ball fell for Simon, who netted from an acute angle from the right.
Ryan was having a marvellous match for the Mariners and, in the 76th minute, he produced fabulous double saves from substitute Jobe Wheelhouse.
The Mariners should have scored in the 79th minute, but Bozanic and Kwasnik were both off target from close range.
With seconds remaining, a long thrown-in from the left was flicked on by Kantarovski and Petrovski fired home to earn the home side a share of the points.
The result left the Mariners in 4th spot, a point behind third-ranked Gold Coast United, while the Jets reduced their altitude and dropped from 7th to 8th on the A-League standings.
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy - Elrich, Milicevic (Wheelhouse 46), Topor-Stanley, D-Apuzzo - Zadkovich, Wehrman, Kantarovski - Jesic, Jeffers (Haliti 30), Abbas (Petrovski 70) (Sub not used: Nash)
Booked: Wheelhouse, Petrovski
Goals: Petrovski 90+2
Central Coast Mariners: Ryan - Sainsbury, Wilkinson, Zwaanswijk, Rose - McGlinchey, Hutchinson, Bozanic (Doig 90+1) - McBreen (Kwasnik 62), Amini (Lewis 87), Simon
Goals: Simon 49
Ref: M Breeze