Jets pinch three points

A late strike from Joel Griffiths and a couple of sharp saves from Jets keeper Ante Covic have helped Newcastle claim a 1-0 victory over the Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

A late strike from Joel Griffiths and a couple of sharp saves from Jets keeper Ante Covic have helped Newcastle claim a 1-0 victory over the Queensland Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night.

Griffiths, who had up to the 83rd minute been kept quiet by the Roar defence, kept his cool to seal the game after Roar keeper Liam Reddy failed to clear a Jin-Hyung Song corner.

The Jets playmaker now boasts six goals in eight games against the Roar, with this the fifth match in a row against Queensland he has slotted a goal.

The record is almost as staggering as Newcastle's efforts in Brisbane, the Jets have now claimed victory in all four encounters at Suncorp Stadium.

Roar coach Frank Farina cut a dejected figure at the post-match media conference, describing football as a 'cruel game'.

"You saw the game, I thought it wasn't a great spectacle as a game of football, but we didn't deserve that. Again, we created opportunities, and good chances, not half chances, we had the chances to win the game (and) didn't take them," Farina said.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond was happy with the victory, the Jets' first for the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season, but admitted his side was a little lucky.

"I think probably a draw was a more right result," he said.

"The confidence and the belief is starting to build within the team and with that, we'll start to play hopefully a little bit more attractive football in certain areas, but right at this moment, if we have to grind a win out, that's what we'll do."

Earlier it had been largely one-way traffic, with the Roar creating plenty of chances, but Covic was always up to the task.

Charlie Miller failed in his attempt to become the first player in Australia domestic football to score in each of the first five games of a season.

Miller can hold his head up high though, as he continued to look sharp, creating opportunities from the midfield while giving the Jets' defence plenty of headaches.

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek was on hand to watch the match and while all eyes were on Roar captain Craig Moore, who recently brought himself out of international retirement, it was Covic who was the stand-out early on.

Covic was first called into action in the 16th minute when an erroneous back pass from Daniel Piorkowski failed to find him.

Matt McKay pounced on the ball for the home side but a charging Covic was able to clear.

Queensland continued to challenge and it took more of Covic's finest work to prevent them from getting on the scoreboard in the 21st minute after Massimo Murdocca found Serginho Van Dijk free in the box with a cross.

Van Dijk connected solidly with his header but Covic was up to the task, producing an excellent one-handed diving save to knock the ball clear.

The tempo picked up a notch in the second half and it was again the Roar who looked dangerous.

A pin-point cross from McKay found Miller in the box, but his diving header was fired straight at Covic.

McKay and Tarek Elrich added a little spice to the match soon after with a push and shove behind play in the 60th minute that resulted in both of them being yellow-carded.

Roar coach Frank Farina called for an injection of pace and youth at the 67th minute, bringing on Tahj Minniecon and Michael Zullo for Daniel Tiatto and Reinaldo in search of victory.

The pair looked lively and it was only five minutes later when Minniecon caused all sorts of trouble for the Jets with a crafty run that was brought to an end by Jade North, just outside the box.

The Roar appealed to referee Craig Zetter for a free kick, but Zetter was having none of it.

Just as the game looked set to end in a nil-all draw, Griffiths caught the Roar defence napping as he made the most of a scramble in the box.

The win, the Jets' first for the 2008/09 Hyundai A-League season, sees the defending champs temporarily claim fourth spot on table.

Queensland Roar 0 Newcastle Jets 1 (Griffiths 83) Crowd: 12,103 at Suncorp Stadium.