Melbourne Victory’s dismal start to the season has continued with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to the Newcastle Jets.
Angus Thurgate’s second-half strike was the difference; condemning Victory to a third straight defeat on a gloomy Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park and heaping the pressure on Victory coach Grant Brebner.
An uninspiring opening half was highlighted by a strong challenge from Storm Roux whose studs caught the chin of Connor O’Toole.
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Roux, perhaps surprisingly, only copped a yellow card but came off second-best after landing awkwardly on his neck which forced him off moments later.
Returning Victory winger, Callum McManaman came closest after the break with his long-range effort was parried brilliantly onto the post by Jets keeper Jack Duncan.
The Jets finally tested Max Crocombe with Roy O’Donovan and in-form striker Valentino Yuel forcing a tremendous double-save from the Victory custodian.
However, the Jets had their moment only minutes later as Yuel’s pass teed up Thurgate who rocketed the ball home on 72 minutes.
VICTORY STRUGGLES CONTINUE
Melbourne Victory are in a deep chasm.
A third straight defeat has them rooted to the bottom of the ladder and the football they have produced so far this season has been less than inspiring.
For Victory fans, this is an unfamiliar feeling for those who are used to their side being among the competition’s best but after last season’s disappointment – the response is still yet to come and the fans let the team know about it with a chorus of booing after the final whistle.
After only one win from their opening seven games, the pressure is building to turn around their stuttering form during an important stretch of home games.
On a positive note, Callum McManaman was electric on his return after missing four games.
JETS REFEREE MISFORTUNE
The Jets would find themselves incredibly hard done by that they didn’t have three huge decisions go their way.
Roux’s first-half challenge could have easily been a red card on any other day while Leigh Broxham and Jacob Butterfield both were fortunate not to have given away two penalties.
On all occasions, VAR did review the decisions but failed to overturn the referee’s call but fortunately for the Jets it didn’t alter the result.
DEANS TURNING THE TIDE
Newcastle are flying right now.
Craig Deans, who was appointed the permanent head-coach of the Jets has his side firing all cylinders with last night’s win their fifth straight game without a loss.
Despite all the uncertainty around their ownership, Newcastle have performed admirably and over the past month have played some tremendous free-flowing football.
Many pundits had them among the teams expected to be rooted to the bottom of the table but suddenly the Jets have emerged as a potential top six candidate.