The F3 Derby returns this weekend and the pre match banter has begun with the Mariners posting on their website 12 reasons Central Coast is better than Newcastle, which was a great laugh because everyone knows that they will and already are struggling this season, their stadium’s tiny and their jab at the Pasha Bulker beaching on Nobbys was quite unoriginal, the only point they made was “Spoon City” referencing the Knights and Jets both current spoon holders, to which Novocastrians can only respond at least we have a side in the NRL. With Newcastle fan favourite John ‘Hutcho’ Hutchinson coming out to say that the only thing the Jets have won that they haven’t is the Spoon, the banter is alive and well heading into the weekend’s clash. Needless to say the way the Mariners have started they could get the spoon this year.
Anyway to the football, last week the Jets suffered their second loss of the season to the hands of Western Sydney the Jets have equalled their best ever start to a season after 5 rounds with 9 points from a possible 15. Last week was an unimpressive performance from both sides, with the Jets left ruing missed opportunities and very poor decision making on the field especially from Enver Alivodic who eventually scored, set the tone of the match of both sides sparring but no one was really willing to force a Knock Out blow.
73rd minutes in and the match final began to kick into life when Enver Alivodic got on the end of a rebound from the cross bar that was struck by Lee Ki Ji from a free kick, and despite the confusion from the referees the goal was eventually awarded. 7 minutes later the 15,000 or so people in the stands were made aware of why Milos Trifunovic is not a defender as he seemed to have lined up Brendan Santalab before shoving him to the ground in which the referee didn’t hesitate in awarding the penalty.
Yes I know, all the fox pundits are saying that Santalab made the most of it and it was a harsh call but from Bay 51 where I was seated it was clear in sight seeing Trifunovic lining him up before making contact was utterly pathetic defending. From the spot Andreu didn’t need a second chance sending Birighitti the wrong way. In the 86th the killer blow was served by Mitch Nicholls who found himself in acres of space with a clear shot on goal from distant, an invitation that he took full advantage of firing the ball past Birighitti. The Jets will have to play a lot better if they are to beat their arch rivals who of recent times have had the Jets number.
Central Coast have had a shocking start having lost 3 and drawn 1 since their opening day victory over Perth Glory. Last week was another unconvincing performance from the palm tree wearing Mariners. Going behind early in the match the Mariners were forced to try get their way back into a match that could’ve proven to have been a blowout. Luckily for the Mariners, Wellington were not able to put their hold on the match, and eventually Roy O’Donovan equalised for the Central Coast. A win this week would kick start the Mariners season and would possibly push them on to get back towards the top of the table. Banter and club favouritism beside, footballing wise Newcastle have been a lot more impressive this season and I expect them to continue their good start this week.
Newysports' Panel Tips:
Keegan’s Tip: 1-0 Jets
Alex's Tip: 3-1 Jets
Ty's Tip: 2-1 Jets