Jets outplay disappointing Fury

Newcastle have defeated a dismal North Queensland Fury 3-1 at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night.

Newcastle have defeated a dismal North Queensland Fury 3-1 at Dairy Farmers Stadium on Saturday night.

The Fury's substitute goalkeeper Sebastian Usai, in goals for the departing Justin Pasfield, had a howler of a debut, with the 20-year-old conceding two goals within a horror three-minute period in which his side's season sunk to new depths.

The Jets' Ruben Zadkovich opened the scoring in the 12th minute through a free kick which left Usai scrambling, before Labinot Haliti pounced on a wayward pass to double the lead in the 15th minute and Ryan Griffiths knocked in a third in the 70th minute.

Mark Hughes received a consolation penalty goal in extra time after Panagiotis Nikas was brought down in the box.

It was one of the homeside's worst performances of the season, in which they picked up five yellow cards and argued with the referee constantly, handing the game on a platter to the visitors who were still well below their best.

Fury coach Franz Straka had no regrets fielding a young side which he said started well but was shaken by the two early goals.

"I think we began very well for the first 12 minutes and we got a good big chance with Adam Casey and the team tried hard but two goals on target in the first half, for this team is deadly,'' he said.

"The game was over and the confidence, especially for those players which is not easy, was gone."

"Adam Casey was for a long time in the squad, Jack worked very well and we had Sipi on the bench - it was brilliant for them and for their experience for next season.''

Jets coach Branko Culina said he hoped the win would allow his side to finish higher than top six.

"We were hoping to do a bit better than that and last week in particular was disappointing but to bounce back away from home against an opposition that had no pressure on them and in difficult conditions is pleasing,'' he said.

"We wanted to be patient that was our tactic, we wanted to get behind the ball and conserve energy because it was very tough conditions."

"We got some confidence and was able to keep the ball better and ask questions of the opposition.'' North Queensland started strong when an Adam Casey header rocked the right post in the 5th minute and keeper Ben Kennedy who collided with the steel forcing a stop in play.

David Williams chanced his arm in the10th minute after a clever midfield movement left the livewire with time and space but his long-range strike was optimistic at best and had more bark than bite.

Then the wheels fell off for the homeside.

Newcastle was gifted a penalty in the 12th minute when Casey brought down a charging Griffiths with a sloppy tackle just outside the 18-yard-box and they made it count.

Zadkovich drove the ball low towards keeper Usai who was either blind-sighted or wrong-footed as he dived late and failed to get a hand on a ball he otherwise should have gobbled up and the scores opened.

And it got worse for the men in green.

Haliti intercepted a misdirected back-pass from Andre Kilian in the 15th minute, leaving him one-on-one with a nervous stopper Usai who he shot past with ease to double the lead.

The Fury found the slightest of sparks after the break when Jason Spagnuolo rose above the pack to meet a long-ball from Jack Hingert in the 64th minute, forcing a diving save from Kennedy.

Spagnuolo was in the thick of it in the 69th minute when Bradley McDonald and Kilian combined down the right wing resulting in a cross but the striker could not muster a much-needed goal.

The Jets had taken the foot of the pedal until 100-gamer Tarek Elrich bamboozled almost half the midfield with a tantalising run down the left flank in the 70th minute which left several defenders stone-cold.

Griffiths snuck into the box unmarked and latched onto the succeeding cross to drill the ball past a helpless goalkeeper and into the onion bag to extend the lead.

There was only one consolation for the homeside.

Hughes will given a gift penalty kick which he slotted in extra time after Nikas was brought down in the box by a tough Kasey Wehrman tackle.

The two sides will meet again at Energy Australia Stadium on Tuesday in a rematch of the in-famous cancelled game earlier in the season.

North Queensland Fury 1 (Hughes 94th) Newcastle Jets 3 (Zadkovich 12, Haliti 14, Griffiths 70) Crowd 4315