Gold Coast United rack up first win of season

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With Melbourne Victory finally scoring, and winning earlier in the day it left Gold Coast United alongside the Melbourne Heart as the only teams yet to register a win this season. That statistic appeared harsh, given that the Coast had been unlucky to only take draws from matches which they dominated against Wellington and Central Coast respectively before becoming yet another Brisbane scalp for the record books last weekend.

A warm afternoon and a perfect pitch greeted two teams keen to play some good football, so the usual absence of any sort of respectable crowd once again left watchers scratching their heads. But that’s for the Gold Coast’s marketing department to sort out.

On the park, the visitors started brightly, with Ruben Zadkovic firing a low shot just wide of the left hand upright. Both sides looked keen to press high up on their opponents, which made for a frenetic start.

The home fans didn’t have to wait too long for the first goal either, as new Dutch import Maceo Rigters hit a precision shot on the turn to ‘keeper Ben Kennedy’s left from the top of the area.

Makeshift striker Jobe Wheelhouse had the chance to equalise for the Jets soon afterwards, but his side-foot finish from eight yards lacked the killer touch of a true centre-forward.

Dylan McCallister then showed that even true centre-forwards can butcher chances too, when he was put through on goal only to get the ball stuck under his feet and give Tarek Elrich enough time to scramble the ball clear.

Made to pay for not forcing home their dominance in Gosford against the Mariners a fortnight ago, Gold Coast knew the importance of finding a second goal to give them breathing space ahead of the Novacastrians.

That second goal did come, in the unlikely manner of a Kristian Rees poacher’s finish. Peter Jungschlager’s low free kick was only parried by Ben Kennedy, and with the Jets defence completely sleeping the big defender burst into the box like a veteran striker to tap in the rebound.

The Jets were quick to strike back, however, when Ryan Griffiths’ free kick from the right passed through everybody and fell to captain Wheelhouse to control and prod home at the far post.

The comeback never eventuated from the visitors who eventually seemed to run out of steam in the heat, and man of the match Paul Beekmans played in the new ‘Godfather of goal’, James Brown to slide a cool finish past Kennedy for his third goal of the season and seal the win for the hosts.

Player of the year points:

3. Paul Beekmans 2. Maceo Rigters 1. James Brown

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