Jets edge out Gold Coast

Gold Coast United has slipped from the top of the Hyundai A-League table after suffering its first ever loss, going down 1-0 at the hands of the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Gold Coast United has slipped from the top of the Hyundai A-League table after suffering its first ever loss, going down 1-0 at the hands of the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle muscled up across the park to keep the competition's most potent side quiet in a bruising battle that was decided by a well taken goal on the counter attack by Jets striker Sean Rooney in the 40th minute.

Gold Coast's loss was its first in its short history and gave bragging rights to Newcastle coach Branko Culina over his son Jason, who was captaining the visitor's in the first-ever father-son clash in the Hyundai A-League.

The win propelled the Jets into a top-three spot while United slipped to second as Sydney FC maintained its unbeaten start to the season with a 2-0 win over Wellington to complete the round.

After an even opening the first chance fell the Jets' way in the 16th minute when Jin Hyung-Song scooted past his man down the left wing and crossed to the near post where Sasho Petrovski forced a good smothering save from United goalkeeper Scott Higgins.

Down the other end the potent Gold Coast attack was kept at bay by a well-disciplined Newcastle defence with Shane Smetlz and Joel Porter forced to shoot from outside the penalty area.

Newcastle was forced into an early substitution when midfielder Shaun Ontong, who was making his debut start after a season and a half with the Jets, hobbled from the field on the on the half-hour mark with what looked like a recurrence of a troublesome ankle injury.

Kaz Patafta was the substitute and he joined Fabio Vignaroli, Adam D'Apuzzo and Song in the a midfield that was doing a good job nullifying Gold Coast's Culina and Zenon Caravella.

The home side grabbed the opening goal five minutes before half-time when they attacked on the counter. Song was put into space by Elrich and he took the ball deep into United's half before sliding a pass out to Rooney on the left flank. The 22-year-old shimmied around Gold Coast defender Sebastiaan Van Der Brink before unleashing a viscous left shot that beat Higgins at the near post and handed the home team a deserved 1-0 lead at the break.

Vignaroli was a no-show after the break with Angelo Costanzo coming on in defence and Ljubo Milicevic pushing up into the heart of the midfield.

The move seemed to pay dividends for Newcastle with Patafta finding space on the right of the midfield and forcing a couple of good saves from Higgins.

Gold Coast coach Miron Blieberg injected Brazilian midfielders Milson and Anderson into the game for Steve Pantaledis and Steve Fitzsimmons and the move seemed to give United some impetus with the visitors looking dangerous down the right flank.

Smeltz shot wide from the edge of the area while Porter and Twaite missed opportunities as the Newcastle defence held on grimly with the visitors having the better of the final 20 minutes.

Newcastle remained dangerous on the counter with Song and Rooney troubling the Gold Coast defence. But a goal was enough to give the Jets a resounding victory.

Branko Culina downplayed the excitement of the victory by indicating it was an extremely satisfying result but his side needed to maintain that sort of form.

"It was a good team performance but let's not get carried away. It was just one win but we need to back it up against Melbourne next week because we've got a tough month of football ahead of us," he said.

Newcastle Jets 1 (Rooney 40) Gold Coast United 0