Wasteful Jets shot down by late penalty
NEWCASTLE'S stuttering season has stalled again, as the Jets went down 2-1 at home to Adelaide on Sunday night.
Despite Roy O'Donovan's first goal in eight-and-a-half months, Newcastle were left stunned by a last-minute Craig Goodwin penalty that secured Adelaide the points and lifted them to fourth spot.
It means Ernie Merrick's side are now three points outside the top six, left to rue an inability to convert blanket second-half pressure into anything more tangible than O'Donovan's header - his first goal in his second game since returning from a 10-match suspension.
Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo was his side's best performer, producing a string of fine saves.
Most infuriating for the Jets was the manner in which they went behind but pulled themselves level and then looked the more likely winners.
Nikola Mileusnic's 38th-minute strike had come against the run of play and had a significant air of fortune after Ben Halloran chased down Michael Jakobsen's long ball.
Halloran's attempt at a cross from the left sailed over Glen Moss and bounced off the post, where Mileusnic gratefully tapped home.
O'Donovan thought he had equalised on 67 minutes, only to be denied by a belated off-side flag, but the Irish striker did score with a powerful header from Kaine Sheppard's clever turn and cross eight minutes later.
From that point the Jets showed the best and worst of their exploits this season, attacking with intent but unable to convert myriad chances.
Finally Adelaide broke upfield and Ryan Kitto's pace deceived Nigel Boogaard into a clumsy tackle.
Goodwin calmly rolled in the penalty to earn the win for an exhausted Adelaide side playing their second game in five days.