|By SACHA PISANI
Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond was at a loss to explain the decision to award Melbourne Heart a first-half penalty in Tuesday's 2-1 loss at AAMI Park.
With Heart's season on life support, the Melbourne club got their campaign back on track thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to the Jets.
Croatian striker Josip Tadic sealed the points with a 26th-minute penalty after Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti appeared to bring down Jonatan Germano inside the area.
The foul occurred after Birighitti seemed to have possession of the ball, only for him to lose it when he made contact with Heart defender Patrick Gerhardt.
The incident clearly infuriated Van Egmond and it led to the Jets tactician following referee Chris Beath into the tunnel at the half-time break, where he unleashed a verbal tirade directed at the match officials.
After the match, Van Egmond said he felt his goalkeeper was deserving of a free kick.
"From my point of view I saw it and thought Birighitti had the ball and then there was a collision and then he didn't have the ball," he said.
"If he has got the ball first, I would suggest that's it. If he gets collided into, there's a reason why he's dropped it.
"But I don't know, I haven't seen it on the replay."
When quizzed about the half-time exchange, Van Egmond said: "I was trying to get an understanding [of the penalty decision]."
Meanwhile, the surprise decision to No.1 goalkeeper Clint Bolton in favour of club debutant Andrew Redmayne was an attempt to spark Heart's ailing season, according to coach John Aloisi.
After 39 consecutive games in goal, Bolton made way for Redmayne, who lined up for his first Heart appearance since leaving defending champions Brisbane Roar in the off-season.
And Aloisi revealed he came to the decision in the wake of his side's capitulation against Wellington Phoenix last Thursday.
"I thought about it after the Wellington game," Aloisi said on Tuesday.
"I had a couple of days to think about what I needed to do to spark the team a little bit.
"I came to the decision that, it was a tough one because Clint's [Bolton] been our best player for the last two seasons.
"He's won our best and fairest and it's not like he wasn't playing well but I thought Redmayne deserved a chance."
Despite conceding a 16th-minute penalty on debut, the 23-year-old produced a number of stunning saves to keep the Jets at bay and Aloisi said the position is now his to lose.
"Let's hope he keeps performing like that," he said.
"We know what a good keeper he is and that's the reason why we ended up getting him here."