Second half goals to Brisbane’s Jamie Maclaren and Newcastle’s Ben Kantarovski saw the Jets and Roar draw 1-1 in their Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season Round 8 clash in front of a crowd of 10,115 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Chances came thick and fast in an exciting and highly anticipated match between two sides in the top five on the competition ladder.
David Carney brought the crowd to life in the 13th minute, firing a thunderous strike from outside the 18-yard box that cannoned off the crossbar.
Three minutes later Dimitri Petratos unleashed a stunning strike at the other end from a similar distance to Carney’s, which also crashed into the woodwork and flew back into the field of play.
Just after the half hour mark the Jets spurned a golden opportunity to go ahead, as Braedyn Crowley skied a shot from close range following a mouth-watering pass from Enver Alivodic that took a deflection on its way to the young attacker.
It was the best chance of the half as neither side could break the stalemate, the teams went into the sheds at the interval locked at 0-0.
The first goal of the match saw the home crowd silenced in the 52nd minute as Jamie Maclaren turned Lachlan Jackson inside the box then guided a shot into the bottom left corner of the goal with the inside of his left boot.
Minutes later Maclaren found himself free on the half way line with no one between himself and Jets custodian Mark Birighitti, however the keeper was up to the task, comfortably saving the Roar striker’s left foot shot after he went on a 25 metre run.
The Jets restored parity to the contest in the 71st minute when Ben Kantarovski drove home a shot from close range after a goalmouth scramble following a Carney corner. For Kantarovski it was his second goal of what is shaping as an impressive season for the versatile 23-year-old.
Prior to the Jets’ Round 8 match against the Roar keeper Birighitti had been in some of the best form of his career, and he continued his strong efforts in the match, producing a tremendous reflex save to deny Maclaren from close range 13 minutes from time.
The Roar had a chance to find the winner from a free kick just outside the 18-yard box in stoppage time after Lachlan Jackson fouled Henrique, however Birighitti rose to the challenge again palming Corona’s free kick over the bar.
A late Jets counter attack fizzled out as the Roar defence retreated to deny a surging Nick Cowburn from creating one final opportunity for Newcastle.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Kantarovski 71’)
Brisbane Roar 1 (Maclaren 53’)
Venue: Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Peter Green
Newcastle Jets FC: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON (24.Nicholas COWBURN 81'), 7.Enver ALIVODIC (28.Ryan KITTO 69'), 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.LEONARDO (17.Radovan PAVICEVIC 88'), 13.Lee KI-JE, 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 23.David CARNEY, 27.Braedyn CROWLEY.
Brisbane Roar FC: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 7.CORONA, 9.Jamie MACLAREN (8.Steven LUSTICA 88'), 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (18.Javier HERVAS 67'), 28.Brandon BORRELLO (10.HENRIQUE 59').