Gold Coast United coach Miron Bleiberg was left ruing a lapse in concentration that saw his side lose 3-2 to the Jets in Newcastle afternoon after they had clawed their way back into the match in a spirited second half.
Gold Coast United ncoach Miron Bleiberg was left ruing a lapse in concentration that saw his side lose 3-2 to the Jets in Newcastle afternoon after they had clawed their way back into the match in a spirited second half.
Gold Coast started brightly and almost scored in the opening minute when stand-out striker Ben Halloran hit the post after a quick break.
The Jets then pinched a goal on the stroke of half-time before doubling their advantage early in the second half.
But Gold Coast showed gritty determination to level the scores when Halloran was rewarded for his endeavours with a lovely goal in the 74th minute before Adam Traore made it 2-2 just six minutes later with a smart strike from an acute angle.
United joy lasted less than a minute, however, when Jets substitute striker Labinot Haliti scored almost directly from the restart.
"That is the biggest disappointment because we were so happy that we equalised to two-all and we thought we were conquering the world and we forgot that after the celebration we have to also defend and that is what happened," Bleiberg said after the match.
"It is frustrating getting back in the game and if we went away at 2-2 with a point we would be happy but to cop a goal straight away after scoring is very frustrating - we are a bit bitter," United defender Kristian Rees said.
"It was tough conditions especially in the first half we fought well but again we copped a late goal when we lost the ball on the half-way line got a break against us copped the goal just before half-time which is disappointing."
"We conceded a second goal and then got back in it and then the rest is history. It is disappointing but we move onto the Heart now which becomes a must-win."
Bleiberg said he was proud of the way his side fought back in the match but said the inexperience of his forward line was exposed somewhat in the final result.
"Conceding three goals in one game is a bit disappointing and we have to work at it from our point of view but the Jets were quite sharp if you look at their forward line with Brockie and Michael Bridges and Griffiths and Haliti - they were sharp and they did the damage," he said.
"Their third goal was too easy, even the second goal. But the point is if you take your chances then you need what you need to do but that is what happens with seasoned players."
"I have Ben Halloran, Golgol Mabrahtu and Chris Harold - you add all three of these guys together their age is less than Michael Bridges'."
Bleiberg was also critical of the Jets physical approach to the game especially on Halloran and Harold, who were brought down continually throughout the match in a number of heavy tackles from the Jets.
"In my opinion they were a bit too physical which is perhaps a reaction to the fact they don't have much confidence - the next option is to go kick the opposition's legs - which happened and they were quite rough," Bleiberg said.
"But they did everything to win and that is what happened. They scored three good goals. They put in the effort and they got the reward."
"We have a tough year this year and it was a tough loss but we have two home games coming up and I just throw you something I don't think Newcastle is a much better team than the Gold Coast."
"They won today and we won last time so it is one-all but I believe wherever Newcastle finish the Gold Coast should finish beside or above. Newcastle is good but I believe we are better and that is where we will try to aim. I am still proud of the boys to make it 2-2 but it was meant to be."
"But also credit to the crowd the first free-kick to them the crowd cheered so loud that the ref started to enjoy it. But the crowd was quite vocal and they pushed them. It was a tough away game and they won it and they deserved to win it. I am not complaining."