Jets soar after thrashing Roar 3-0 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jets soar after thrashing Roar 3-0

By Jim Morton 07/12/2006 10:07:42 PM Comments (0)

Newcastle's A-League resurrection under Gary van Egmond has gone into overdrive with a 3-0 victory over Queensland, lifting the dangerous Jets to third on the table.

Mark Bridge starred with a scintillating double to give the Jets their sixth win in nine matches under van Egmond and put them just one point behind second-placed Sydney FC.

It also continued the bizarre home-ground hoodoo between Newcastle and the Roar where the away team has now won all six matches contested between the clubs since the A-League kicked off.

The Jets dominated from the outset against a flat, error-riddled Roar in front of 10,040 Brisbane fans who had almost nothing to cheer about at Suncorp Stadium.

They were silenced in just the ninth minute when Bridge smartly finished a classy one-two with Columbian striker Milton Rodriguez at the top of the box.

Both Bridge and Rodriguez had clear-cut chances to extend the lead before halftime but were denied by goalkeeper Liam Reddy, who also dived to stop a fine Matthew Thompson attempt.

But Reddy's touch left him early in the second half when Joel Griffiths, given room inside the box by Thompson, fired directly at the off-balance keeper who lamely deflected the ball into the back net.

While the Roar attacked feverishly in the closing stages, they hardly ever threatened and it was Bridge who put the icing on top for the visitors in the 77th minute.

The 21-year-old fringe Socceroo produced the play of the night by standing up three Roar defenders and launching a sweetly-timed strike into the top right corner for his fifth goal of the season.

It has been a remarkable recovery for the Jets under van Egmond in the past two months.

When van Egmond replaced the axed Nick Theodorakopoulos after a winless first seven rounds, Newcastle was dead last on three points.

Their record since - six wins, two draws and one loss - is better than that of runaway leader Melbourne over the same period.

If they can continue the form which easily outpointed the Roar, the Jets will be a genuine title threat when the play-offs start in late January.

Sorley missing central defender Sasa Ognenovski (ankle) and midfielder Spase Dilevski (heel), the Roar's best chance came just before halftime when Jets keeper Ivan Necevski lost the ball in front of goal.

But Dario Vidosic's attempt was cleared near the line.

Roar coach Frank Farina, who had to replace midfielder Matt McKay (ill) after 21 minutes, lamented "everything that could" went wrong.

"I thought we were crap to be honest," he said.

"We just couldn't hold the ball. Our passing was terrible, every time we got it ... we gave it back.

"We really didn't turn up tonight.

"Don't be mistaken though, Newcastle are a very good side. That performance there tonight was one of the best I've seen this season."

Van Egmond rated the thumping as one of his side's best of the season.

In praising his entire side, he made special mention of the efforts of defenders Jade North, Andrew Durante and Thompson and was particularly pleased with the clinical finishing of his mobile forward line.

Bridge, 21, made the most of his rare chance to start after the coach rested veteran Vaughan Coveny due to the short turnaround from Sunday's draw against New Zealand to demand a permanent 90-minute role.

"He's a different player from last year," van Egmond said.

"He's a lot more focussed."

In the only disappointment for the Jets, captain Nicky Carle will miss their clash with fourth-placed Adelaide next Friday due to an enforced suspension after picking up a fourth yellow card of the season.

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