Heart take down Jets


Melbourne Heart shrugged off an experienced Newcastle Jets side 3-0 in their National Youth League clash at John Cain Memorial Reserve on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart shrugged off an experienced Newcastle Jets side 3-0 in their National Youth League clash at John Cain Memorial Reserve on Sunday.

An early strike from Paulo Retre set the tone for the performance before striker Evan Batsis gave the Heart breathing space before half-time.

Substitute Zac Walker rounded out the game with 10 minutes to spare.

Newcastle started the match with a strong line-up – featuring senior players including former Heart full-back Craig Goodwin, flying winger James Virgili and midfielder Jacob Pepper.

The home side went with a youthful side that included yet-to-debut former Gold Coast forward Gol Gol Mebrahtu and ex-Roar back-up keeper Andrew Redmayne.

Heart pressed early and hit the front in the sixth minute after Retre floated a wonderful volley into the top corner from outside the area.

The lead was doubled halfway through the first period when Jeremy Walker beat the Jets’ offside trap and found himself one-on-one with keeper Jack Duncan. The right winger squared the ball to Batsis, who had the easiest of tap-ins.

Walker was a constant threat down the right side and his good work should have resulted in Heart’s third on 24 minutes. After being released down the right, the winger’s pull back was blasted over the bar by Ersin Kaya.

Virgili was the Jets bright spark in the first half, taking on defenders and getting into good positions – with his final ball lacking the required quality.

In the opening seconds of the second half, Kaya had a golden chance to put the game out of reach but skewed a volley well wide from the penalty spot.

The miss could have proved costly as substitute Kale Bradbery advanced on the Heart defence with two teammates in support. Instead of passing, the forward’s deflected strike fell to Virgili and Redmayne made a terrific save to deny a rising, goal-bound effort.

Substitute Zac Walker finally snuffed out the Jets’ chances on 80 minutes when he cleverly nicked the ball past a defender in the penalty area and finished past Newcastle substitute keeper Nicholas Hartnett.

With their third win of the season, Heart joined second-placed Newcastle on 10 points as they finally climbed into the top half of the table.

Melbourne Heart 3 (Retre 6, Batsis 22, Z.Walker 80)
Newcastle Jets 0

Melbourne Heart : 2. Jeremy Walker, 4. David Vrankovic, 5. William Abbott, 6. Joshua Groenewald (C), 7. Ersin Kaya, 8. Paulo Retre, 9. Evan Batsis (15. Zac Walker 60), 10. Nicholas Epifano (3. Andrew Cartanos 60) , 11. Gol Gol Mebrahtu, 12. Phillip Petrevski, 16. Andrew Redmayne (GK)

Newcastle Jets: 1. Jack Duncan (GK) (20. Nicholas Hartnett 45), 2. Chris Grossman, 3. Taylor Regan (C), 4. Sam Gallaway, 5. Josh Brilliante, 6. Mitch Oxborrow, 7. James Virgili (12. Bobby Russell 60), 8. Jacob Pepper, 9. Marco Jesic, 10. Mitch Cooper, 11. Craig Goodwin (13. Kale Bradbery 45)