Weekly Warm Up: Melbourne Victory v Newcastle Jets

Sing your side to Victory in a Saturday night showdown at AAMI Park, as Melbourne look to gun down the Jets!

Sing your side to Victory in a Saturday night showdown at AAMI Park, as Melbourne look to gun down the Jets!

It's been a strange season so far for Melbourne Victory. So much promise, yet so much inconsistency can perhaps best be summed up by what happened the last time they met Newcastle at Ausgrid Stadium earlier in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season. There was some stunning football from the Melbourne side, goals at both ends and plenty of controversy. The visitors seemed to be on their way to three valuable points after an absolute beauty from Carlos Hernandez put them in front, but Victory don't do things the easy way. Not only were they soon pegged back, but found themselves behind shortly after half-time. However, the match turned on a pivotal moment of drama before Jets sealed the match with a late Ryan Griffiths strike. As Melbourne sought an equaliser, they had claims for what looked like a clear penalty as Nikolai Topor-Stanley brought down Archie Thompson when he was through on goal. Surely it would be a spot-kick and a possible red card for the defender? But, much to the visitors' disbelief, the referee gave nothing. Jets went up the other end and scored a third. Game over.

Melbourne Victory are an honest enough club to be able to accept losing to the better side, but controversial moments like that are hard to swallow and there can be no denying that Victory came away from Ausgrid Stadium feeling very hard done by. Therefore, on Saturday night, they will more determined than ever to get the better of their New South Wales rivals.

That loss to Newcastle isn't the only ghost that Victory will be looking to lay to rest this weekend. Saturday represents the first time they have played at AAMI Park since the Melbourne derby, when their upstart neighbours beat them 3-2 in front of a huge, noisy crowd. Frustratingly once more, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory, after Archie Thompson's beautiful lob had given them the lead. Had Carlos Hernandez's early penalty been converted, a morale-boosting win would surely have been in the bag. However, it was a case of an opportunity wasted and so much promise unfulfilled. Again, Melbourne's season could be summed up by Hernandez's evening: a missed penalty, a disallowed goal and a brilliant strike. All-in-all, a mixed bag.

While the fact that they were part of a thriller played in an incredible atmosphere will be of little consolation to a team still licking their wounds from a derby defeat, the noise created by the massive crowd at least proved that the Melbourne's football followers are second to none. So, be sure to continue that magnificent show of support this Saturday night and create the kind of intense noise that will have Newcastle Jets quaking in their boots. It's time to turn AAMI Park into a happy place once more, and what better way of doing that than by beating the team that subjected Victory to such pain a month ago. It's payback time!