Newcastle Jets 0 Sydney FC 1

Michael Bridges scored his first Hyundai A-League goal as Sydney FC beat Newcastle Jets to make it two victories from two matches under John Kosmina.

Michael Bridges scored his first Hyundai A-League goal as Sydney FC beat Newcastle Jets to make it two victories from two matches under John Kosmina.

Sydney FC’s on-loan former English Premier League striker found the net in the 69th minute, curling home a left-foot shot from the edge of the penalty shot so accurately that Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Ante Covic did not move a muscle as it flew past him.

The only negative for Sydney FC came in the first half when Juninho hurt his right shoulder in an accidental collision with match referee Matthew Breeze. Kosmina took the decision to substitute the club’s marquee player at half time, with Ruben Zadkovich replacing the FIFA World Cup winner.

Sydney FC got off to a slow start in front of 16,433 spectators, the largest crowd for a Newcastle Jets home game in the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 Season, a number boosted by a large travelling contingent.

It took 20 minutes for Sydney FC to spark into life but, when Kosmina’s side started to hit its straps, powerful shots reigned in on Covic. Bridges forced the Newcastle Jets custodian to make a diving save and then, as the visiting team assumed control, it was the turn of Brosque (twice), Milligan and Talay to go ever so close to breaking the derby deadlock.

Just before the break, though, Newcastle Jets went within centimetres of taking the lead against the run of play when Mark Bridge drove into the penalty box and unleashed a rasping shot that picked up a wicked deflection and spun just wide of the far post with Sydney FC goalkeeper Clint Bolton fixed to the spot.

Zadkovich replaced Juninho for the second period and collected his fifth caution of the campaign after fewer than two minutes on the field for a foul on Newcastle Jets midfielder Troy Hearfield. It was the fourth of six yellow cards brandished by Breeze – three for each side – in a full-bloodied encounter.

In the 54th minute, Bridges almost opened his Sydney FC account in the most spectacular fashion. The ex-Leeds United and Sunderland hotshot attempted an overhead kick after Iain Fyfe and Zadkovich had combined to good effect down the right but his connection was not sweet and Covic saved easily.

However, there was nothing that Covic could do about Bridges’ next effort 15 minutes later, the Newcastle Jets custodian little more than a spectator as Sydney FC’s English import showed why Leeds United once paid $12m for his services with a truly top-class finish.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary Van Egmond responded to Bridges’ belter by throwing Mario Jardel into the fray and the former Brazil striker went closer than anyone to rescuing a point for the home team when, 10 minutes from time, he saw Sydney FC goalkeeper Bolton save his header from point-blank range and Robbie Middleby clear his follow-up effort off the line.

Adam D’Apuzzo saw his 88th-minute deflected shot scrape the bottom of Sydney FC custodian Bolton’s near post but, despite pushing numbers forward in injury time, Newcastle Jets could not breach the defence of its opponent from down the freeway.

Sydney FC remains unbeaten away from home in the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 Season – two wins and two draws from four road trips – and has inflicted both of Newcastle Jets’ two defeats so far this campaign.

Newcastle Jets 0
Sydney FC 1 (Michael Bridges 69′)
Date: Saturday, November 3, 2007
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Matthew Breeze
Crowd: 16,433

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 2. Adam GRIFFITHS, 3. Jade NORTH (captain), 6. Andrew DURANTE, 9. Joel GRIFFITHS, 10. DENNI (15. Scott TUNBRIDGE 43′), 11. Tarek ELRICH, 13. Adam D’APUZZO, 17. Troy HEARFIELD (21. Mario JARDEL 73′), 18. Noel SPENCER (12. Paul KOHLER 73′), 19. Mark BRIDGE.

Substitutes not used: 20. Ben KENNEDY (gk).

Yellow cards: Denni 25′, Adam Griffiths 26′, Ante Covic 84′.

Sydney FC: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 4. Mark RUDAN, 6. Tony POPOVIC (captain), 7. Robbie MIDDLEBY (11. Brendon SANTALAB 90+3′), 10. Steve CORICA (9. David ZDRILIC 90+2′), 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Mark MILLIGAN, 22. JUNINHO (8. Ruben ZADKOVICH 46′), 23. Ufuk TALAY, 28. Michael BRIDGES.

Substitutes not used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk).

Yellow cards: Mark Milligan 22′, Ruben Zadkovich 47′, Michael Bridges 86′.