ALM Report: City 0-0 Newcastle

Melbourne City fought hard but ultimately, could only gain a share of the points at home against Newcastle Jets on Saturday evening.

City controlled large parts of the game but wasn’t able to find the cutting edge as the visiting Jets side defended valiantly to hold on for a point.

Team News

Arguably the biggest news of the night came in the dugout with Aurelio Vidmar away due to illness, meaning Raffaele Napoli stepped into the role of Head Coach.

The starting XI remained unchanged from our last fixture 18 days ago, although both Mathew Leckie and Curtis Good were named amongst the substitutes after missing through illness last time out.

Starting XI: 1. Jamie YOUNG (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 4. Nuno REIS (C), 26. Samuel SOUPRAYEN, 14. Vicente FERNANDEZ, 8. Jimmy JEGGO, 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 10. Tolgay ARSLAN, 44. Marin JAKOLIS, 11. Leo NATEL, 37. Max CAPUTO.

Substitutes: 33. Patrick BEACH (GK), 7. Mathew LECKIE, 9. Jamie MACLAREN, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 21. Alessandro LOPANE, 22. Curtis GOOD, 38. Harry POLITIDIS.

What happened?

The Napoli-coached City side looked positive early, building into the game with some nice spells of possession.

We looked to attack down the right-hand side for much of the first half, Callum Talbot and Marin Jakolis working well in tandem.

The former whipped in a few nice crosses early, including one for Max Caputo in the 13th minute but the young striker only saw it late after clearing the afro of Mark Natta, and didn’t get enough power in his header to trouble the keeper.

A mistake at the back from Newcastle not long later saw Steven Ugarkovic find himself one-on-one with Ryan Scott, but the midfielder got caught between crossing and shooting and allowed the Jets defence to recover and put in a block.

The second half began in a similar vein to the first, City controlling majority of the play but just missing the finishing touch.

It took just seven minutes for a great double chance but neither made their way into the back of the net.

Jakolis first played a well-weighted ball into the box for Caputo to hit on the volley, but the point-blank strike could only force a great save from Ryan Scott. The follow-up fell straight to Ugarkovic with an open net, but a great block from the Jets denied the opener.

Jamie Young had a relatively quiet night between the sticks but was called into action in the 82nd minute, using a strong left hand to deny Daniel Wilmering.

There was plenty of action at the other end of the pitch as we entered stoppage time, first with Mathew Leckie on his return from injury and illness after entering the pitch in the 77th minute.

Our number 7 struck it first time following a set-piece and forced a save, then slid the ball back across the face of goal for Jakolis to force a sharp stop from Scott – ultimately though, the flag was raised and neither would’ve counted.

We continued to heap the pressure on in added time but the final whistle would eventually sound with the scoreline unchanged from the first.

What’s next?

It’s a quick turnaround for your City boys, travelling to Gosford in a few days time for an away clash against Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday night.

We’ll then return home to prepare for Saturday’s away Melbourne Derby,