Injury-time own goal sinks plucky Jets

HIGH POINT: Jets substitute Radovan Pavicevic scores his first A-League goal. Picture: Getty ImagesTHE new-look Newcastle Jets gave up a goal in injury time to suffer a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Brisbane Roar in front of 6944 fans at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
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Teenage substitute Radovan Pavicevic looked to have earned Newcastle a deserved draw when he scored his maiden A-League goal in the 72nd minute.

But with moments remaining, substitute Allan Welsh, who had been on the field for 14 seconds, stuck out his right boot to clear a low free kick from Thomas Broich only to deflect it into his own net.

The rookie defender had just replaced Scott Neville, who had given the free kick away.

The Jets showed plenty of fight after two weeks of turmoil at the club which included the sacking of five of their teammates and three of their coaching staff.

Striker Jean Carlos Solorzano put the visitors ahead in the 35th minute when he was left unmarked at a corner and flicked the ball home from inside the six-yard box.

Plucked from the youth team, Pavicevic equalised when he collected a misdirected back pass from Corey Brown, rounded goalkeeper Michael Theo and kept his cool when the ball bobbled up from Brown’s late challenge to volley it deftly between two defenders.

Radovan Pavicevic scoring a goal for Newcastle. Picture: Dean Osland

In the end, it was not the win the Jets craved, but it was a vast improvement on the insipid performance in the 7-0 surrender to Adelaide two weeks earlier.

Content to sit back for much of the contest, the Jets finished the stronger and could have snatched all three points.

Daniel Mullen hit the crossbar with a header and the Roar had to defend desperately at the death to hang on before snatching the winner against the run of play.

Taylor Regan, who had not played since round six, led a bare-bones outfit after a fortnight of bloodletting.

Former Wanderers centre back Mullen made his Jets debut alongside Regan in five team changes from the Adelaide rout.

New assistant coaches Mark Jones, James Pascoe and Jesse Vanstrattan, who also acted as back-up keeper, joined besieged coach Phil Stubbins on the sideline for the first time.

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