Dario Vidosic scored one and set up another as Adelaide opened their season with a victory at Newcastle.
|By MARK HUGHES
Adelaide United have spoilt the debut of Newcastle's star signing Emile Heskey with a strong 2-0 win over the Jets in their A-League opener at Hunter Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Dario Vidosic stunned the Newcastle crowd of nearly 15,000 when he snatched a goal in just the second minute of the match before the Jets worked their way back into the contest to create several chances in the first half.
However, Newcastle's chances of a comeback were curtailed early in the second half when they were reduced to 10 men after goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was shown a red card for a handball outside the area.
Adelaide sealed the points 15 minutes from full-time when Iain Ramsay slotted home at the back post after a great piece of work from Vidosic.
The Reds travelled halfway around the world to contest this match but they showed no signs of fatigue with a goal in the just the second minute.
Argentine import Jeronimo Neumann was afforded far too much time and space in a dangerous position on the right and he was able to whip the ball into the near post where Vidosic got in front of Josh Mitchell and produced a lovely controlled finish.
Newcastle eventually found their feet and started to control possession and create chances.
Left-back Craig Goodwin had claims for a penalty turned down when he weaved his way into the box before he was dispossessed by Ramsay and Daniel Bowles.
Soon after, Ruben Zadkovich went close when he got onto a Jobe Wheelhouse corner but fired his volley wide.
The Jets continued to apply the pressure with Scott Neville and Wheelhouse having long-range shots denied.
Down the other end, Vidosic looked likely to grab his second when he showed great skill to get around two Jets defenders before firing a low shot that was well saved by Birighitti.
Heskey's first notable contribution was an intimidating one as he put Galekovic on the ground with a forceful body-check after the Reds goalkeeper claimed a dangerous-looking cross.
Newcastle had the better of possession to end the first half but were unable to mount any real chances on the visitors' goal as Adelaide took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The home side came out with more enthusiasm in the second half with Heskey putting pressure on the Reds defence and creating opportunities as Zadkovich fired wide.
The Jets were dealt a massive body blow in the 59th minute when Birighitti was shown a red card after coming out of his area to try to extinguish an Adelaide counter-attack only to be judged to have handled the ball when he leapt to smother Vidosic's chip.
Newcastle took off Adam Taggart and bought on reserve keeper Ben Kennedy as they looked to work their way back into the contest with a man down.
The Jets rallied as Zadkovich and Goodwin combined to create a chance before Heskey made way for Michael Bridges in the 70th minute as the home side chased an equaliser.
The Reds made sure of the points in the 75th minute when Vidosic ghosted into the area before sliding a simple pass across the face of goal for Ramsay to tap in at the back post for a 2-0 lead.
Adelaide looked to add another as Vidosic and Bruce Djite fashioned chances while the Jets tried in vain to claw a goal back as substitute James Virgili saw his shot saved and Bridges headed wide as the Reds finished strongly to claim all three points.