Newcastle v Adelaide

Round 6 report by Mick Kmet
Newcastle United v Adelaide United

Newcastle United were cruising to a comfortable two-nil victory on the hour clock when they somehow lost the plot and conceded three goals in thirteen minutes to lose what seemed like an unlosable game.

The win was engineered through old foxes Aurelio Vidmar and Carl Veart in what was otherwise quiet games for them.

The first opportunity of the game didnąt come until the 16th minute and it resulted in a goal for the home team.

A brilliant long ball by Mitchell Johnson penetrated the Adelaide defence and found Ryan Griffiths free on the left. Griffiths sped along the sideline, cut in, and sent a perfect long cross to Greg Owens on the far post. Owens slid and hit the ball well enough to beat a diving David Scarsella.

Chances were still non-existent as the half went on. It was a real midfield tussle with the younger Newcastle charges having the better of play. Johnson and Jobe Wheelhouse, back from Under 20 international duties in Dubai, were in fine touch and full of running.

This dominance was frustrating Adelaide skipper Vidmar who had to resort to a long range effort in the 26th minute. John Perosh had no trouble in handling the shot.

A whole eleven minutes later Ryan Griffiths made something from nothing on the left and sent a wonderful cross to Esala Masi. Masi headed wide.

Newcastle started the second half strongly and had a golden opportunity to go two up in the opening moments of the second stanza.

An inch-perfect through ball by Mark Wilson sent Wheelhouse free and with a one-on-one. As Wheelhouse approached Scarsella the youngster inexplicitly changed feet to chip the charging keeper. The chip was successful as Wheelhouse fell over, but the ball only travelled two metres and was easily cleaned up by the Adelaide defence.

In the 55th minute Newcastle nearly got the goal they deserved. A cross to Masi on the far post was headed back by the big Fijian. The ball floated to Ryan Griffiths who struck a fine volley, but it failed to reach the back of the net as Michael Valkanis lunged to save his team just centimetres from the goal line.

Newcastle did get that second goal in the 61st minute through Ryan Griffiths. Griffiths broke through the midfield after Goran Lozanovski lost possession. The striker drew two defenders and slotted the ball to Wheelhouse on the left. Wheelhouse reciprocated the gesture by sending a perfect cross to Griffiths who headed home.

Two minutes later Adelaide hit back. A rare foray into the Newcastle area saw Vidmar win a penalty. The former Socceroo was facing away from goal and Scott Thomas should not have made the reckless challenge. Veart made no mistake from the spot-kick.

A minute after this it was Vidmar who had two great opportunities. The first came when he nearly chipped the advancing Perosh. The other came from a cross that beat the Newcastle keeper and hit the far post.

The Newcastle defence now looked shaky as Adelaide exerted more pressure.

Adelaide equalised in the 73rd minute. A long ball by substitute Mislav Saric found Veart, who broke and headed towards goal. Veart drew two players and passed to a free Vidmar who blasted home.

Four minutes later Veart put Adelaide ahead with a brilliant header that was too strong for Perosh. This was three goals in thirteen minutes for Adelaide.

In the 82nd and 84th minute Newcastle should have equalised when Greg Owens hit the post and substitute Thomas Libbesson missed a one-on-one.

Late in injury time Newcastle knew it wasnąt their day as Greg Owens headed onto the crossbar.

It was an unbelievable game of football in that a team that only dominated play for fifteen minutes could win the match.