Adelaide remains in hunt for Premier’s Plate

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Adelaide United made sure they remained in touch with the top four thanks to a 1-0 win over the Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

While the Jets created far more goal scoring chances it was Marcelo Carrusca that made his count for the away team in the 28th minute giving Adelaide the advantage they would carry through the remained of the match.

Adelaide boss Josep Gombau said that he was happy to claim the three points but he conceded that on a different night his team may not have been so lucky.

“I think that today wasn’t a good game for us and I think that is normally a game that you would lose or you don’t get the result,” said Gombau.

“But that’s football and we did something good, the attitude was good and we played compact and in the end we got the result.”

The victory leaves the Reds in 5th place on the Hyundai A-League ladder and just two points adrift of leaders Wellington Phoenix with four matches remaining.

But the Reds coach isn’t getting too far ahead of himself in the pursuit of the Premier’s Plate.

“It’s good to be coming into the last four games and have a chance at taking out the top spot,” Gombau said.

“But the other four teams also have a chance and they’ll be trying to do the right things to finish on top and we’ll just be trying to get the wins.

“If we have chance that’s good but we’re going to take it step by step and game by game and look to ensure we have finals at home.”

Jets gaffer Phil Stubbins couldn’t fault his team’s effort on the pitch but felt based on how many chances his players created they should have taken the three points.

“We should have won the game, we had 54% possession, more shots on goal, more ventures into the front third and our intensity was very good in the second half,” Stubbins said.

“I just feel for the boys, the club and the supporters because it’s alright to demand that we win but we played the game in the right way and if nobody can see that we aren’t watching the same football.

“The problem is obviously not scoring goals and we were unlucky but it’s been the story of campaign.”

But while Stubbins admits the team needs a talisman he was remaining coy about who the Novocastrians were looking at to fulfil the role.

“You have to get someone in your striking role that’s going to score those 10 to 15 goals,” Stubbins said.

“Without those it doesn’t really matter what your brand of football is because if you’re not effectively turning dominance into goals that doesn’t equate to wins.

“But we’re working with the boys we’ve got and it’s not respectful for me to speak about anything involving replacements of any player.”

The home team made the first enterprise of the match after a cagey opening 10 minutes but Edson Montano couldn’t find a home for Enver Alivodic’s searching cross.

The best chances of the opening half fell to Jets midfielder Mitch Cooper who drove one shot at Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic and a second brilliantly blocked on the goal line by Dylan McGowan.

Adelaide took the lead in the 38th minute when Carrusca slotted the ball home after Jets keeper Ben Kennedy blocked Sergio Cirio’s shot back into the path of the Argentinian.

The Jets had a glorious chance to equalise after the break but Montano again couldn’t find a telling touch to tap the ball in at the back post in an event which seemed to summarise the Jet’s season.

However Adelaide have their own cause for concern with Carrusca and Pablo Sanchez both picking up knocks before halftime.

Additionally, the crowd of 6888 all held their breath as Adelaide defender Nigel Boogard landed on his head after challenging for a header in the closing stages forcing Adelaide to finish with 10 men.

Boogard had to be stretchered from the field of play but Gomabu confirmed that he did not sustain any serious injuries.

“He is ok, he’s is now in the changing room and we are very happy that he will be able to travel with us and everything is good.”

Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Cowburn, Mullen, Regan (Pavicevic 85’), Ki-Je, B. Kantarovski (Gallagher 69’), Caravella, Pepper, Alivodic, Cooper (Burgess 63’), Montano

Unused substitutes: Soalri, M. Kantarovski

Adelaide United: Galekovic, Marrone, McGowan, Malik (Watson 75’), Goodwin, Isaias, Jeggo, Carrusca (Boogaard 42’) Sanchez (Palanca (46’), Djite, Cirio

Unused substitutes: Izzo, Kamau

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