War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 8

Plenty of goals (20!), red cards (6!) and VAR meddling (Infinity!) in Round 8 of the A-League which was at its entertaining and shambolic best.

NEWCASTLE JETS 4 (Georgievski 13 Nabbout 37, 83 Champness 75) MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Barbarouses 5)


After finally collecting their first win over in Perth in Round 7 Victory came back to earth with a thud being taken to the cleaners by the Newcastle Jets.


It seemed that the mawkish start to the season was behind them and even took the lead against the injury hit Jets when Kosta Barbarouses opened the scoring with a sneaky run and volley. That was about it though and the architects of Kev and the boys’ destruction were two Victory rejects.


Daniel Georgievski finished against his old side after a nice back heel from the red-hot Dimitri Petratos. Then the flashpoint of the match meant that game was only going one way when Socceroos vice captain Mark Milligan lashed out at his former teammate Georgievski and was sent off. Milligan completely at fault for continuing the spat despite warnings from the ref. It wasn’t long after this that the Jets went ahead with an easy finish through another Victory alumni in Andrew Nabbout.


The Jets toyed with Victory in the second half as Muscat’s men hardly put a shot on goal and the Jets were strong on every line. Petratos was behind the dominance but could not find the goal to kill off Victory. Finally, with 15 minutes to go young Socceroo midfielder Joe Champness scored with the rout finished off by Nabbout with his second minutes from full time.


A surprise result, more questions than answers for Victory and the Jets (temporarily) back on top of the table and strong all over the pitch.



MELBOURNE CITY 1 (McCormack 31) PERTH GLORY 3 (Nicholls 12 Torres 43 Mallia 83)


On Friday night City continued the misery for anything Melbourne related this round self-destructing against Perth Glory. After a very bright start to the season which was rightly praised by many they are now slipping back down to their mediocre pea heart best which we know and love them for from the times of Heart right up to present day.


After coming off two very disappointing losses and coping with many questionable injuries Glory looked up for this game and much like their elimination final at the same venue against the same team last April controlled large parts of the game. Their bright opening saw Glory run at City with the 16 year old winger Jacob Italiano (in for Diego Castro) especially dangerous. The visitors were rewarded when a deflected Mitch Nicholls shot snuck past the keeper to have 1-0.


Ross “Mars Bars” McCormack, so often a savior for City so far this season then made it 1-1 with his tremendous free kick with enough power to get past Liam Reddy. With both teams wanting to arrest a worrying form slump it was getting testy out on the middle, Malik lucky not be booked for a couple of hacks and Glory midfielder/defender Xavi Torres loving the physicality and banter.


Then in the shadows of half time controversy marred the contest. A horrible hack on Italiano by Malik was missed by the ref but VAR was called and after a delay far too long for this code a penalty was awarded and Malik was given a straight red. Was it a penalty? Absolutely. Was it a sending off? That’s one for the jury. To a chorus of boos from the limited City crowd Torres made no mistake with the penalty. 2-1 Glory. City could have had their own penalty thanks to VAR just a minute later when McCormack was bumped in to and it was expected but the no penalty was given.


In the second half City pressed for an equaliser as Glory went in to their defensive shell looking like the team with 10 men, not City. Luke Brattan was back in the starting line up and was pulling the strings in the City midfield constantly setting up attacks after Glory would just hoof the ball up front. With captain Andy Keogh injured Nicholls had to play up front in the role for Glory not being able to hold the ball up as ball after ball in to the penalty area by City were repelled by the central defensive pairing of Alex Grant and the irrepressible Shane Lowry.


Eventually the game was put to rest with seven minutes to go when the sub Mitch Malia stripped an unusually sloppy Nick Fitzgerald of the ball and slotted cooly past Galekovic. It’s now three losses and a draw out of their last four games. Assistant coach Michael Valkanis has been sacked on the Monday and continuing disquiet seems to surround the coach Warren Joyce who seemed like someone who had given City some backbone at the start of the season but now seems to be falling out with everyone.


For Glory they would be grateful for such a heartening performance away from home with so many key players out.



WELLINGTON PHOENIX 1 (Vidosic 71) CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 4 (Kaluderovic OG 39, Da Silva 54 Hoole 67 Buhagier 93)


The Mariners bounced back from their disappointing last minute loss to Adelaide in Round 7 trashing an out of sorts Phoenix.


Dominating large periods of the game they finally broke through near half time with a very amateur defending effort from the home side defending a Mariners corner resulting in an own goal. The ball coming off Kaluderovic who as a striker should be scoring at the other end. Early in the second half Da Silva had another goal was a powerful finish with a masterful Hoole goal making it 3-0. Vidosic tried to spark a comeback with his header but one more for the Mariners through Buhagair finished the rout right on full time.


Slick from the Mariners who are really hitting a groove. Depressing from the Phoenix with New Zealand football in that post World Cup elimination slump.


SYDNEY FC 3 (Carney 8 Mierzejewski 15 Ryall 79) BRISBANE ROAR 1 (Hingert 93)


Even with some key players rested, the champions made short work of the Roar in a game that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. With Bobo and Ninkovic both rested after 120 minutes in the cup final during the week Sydney FC still bulldozed the Roar who didn’t really seemed to react quick enough to Sydney’s pinpoint passing.


After only 8 minutes Dave Carney scored and then his theatrics earned Sydney a penalty on 15 minutes that was put away by the star Pole Adrian Mierzejewski. This killed the game as a contest as the Roar tried to pass through the midfield dominated by the opposition. On 72 minutes there was a flurry of activity when Roar’s big defender Avraam Papadopolous and Sky Blue toe cutter Matt Simon had handbags. To sort out the mess VAR was called (of course) and replays showed that Padadopolous had spat at Simon after some verbals explaining the reason for Simon kicking off at his opponent.


After more time wasted thanks to VAR that bewildered all involved both players were sent off with howls from the sparse Sydney FC crowd about Simon also getting a red. Considering all the times Simon has gotten away with his nasty exploits things can even up sometimes. More embarassing defending let Seb Ryall get his first of the season with Hingert getting a late goal for Roar that didn’t hide a poor night.





VAR wasn’t done for the round and again got involved in Adelaide’s decent win over Wanderers at Hindmarsh.


After an even opening a replay was called for after Wanderers captain Robbie Cornthwaite was deemed to have handballed. Another wait for a few minutes killing them momentum of the game and finally Cornthwaite was given a second yellow and sent off. The resulting penalty was missed but United were in control and went ahead in a shocking first half through Kitto even though it looked like a United player was offside in the build up. VAR used to correct this mistake? Nah.


In the second half it was 2-0 on the hour when Kitto scored his second and even with VAR (again) being called upon and resulting a United player being sent off it was a heartening win for United in a game ruined by this stupid video replay system.


Not the best return to Himdmarsh for Josep Gombau but he was philosophical after the game saying with the changes he is making to the Wanderers after taking over as coach mistakes will happen. Mistakes happen with refereeing too. It’s part of the game and human error prompts debate and sometimes controversy. There is no need for VAR and his is coming from someone who supports a team that benefited from it massively on Friday night.






The title winning midfielder has made every post a winner after moving to Newcastle from Brisbane Roar. His influence on the games in the final third for the Jets makes them an irrepressible attacking force and his two assists on Thursday night were tremendous.


Next to Ninkovic (and possibly Da Silva) the best midfielder of the season so far and if he keeps this up could be considered for a certain trip to Russia next June. One of the many winners for the Ernie Merrick so far this season.




ARSECLOWN OF THE ROUND- Avraam Papadopolous

VAR could be the arseclown again this week for so many reasons but ironically it was the flawed replay system that caught out a disgusting act by the Roar defender.

Papadopolous is looking at at least six weeks for spitting in the direction of Matt Simon and while Simon could possibly be the most loathed player in the league for his ‘this is Australia mate!’ sledging to foreign players and delicate elbowing it was a shameful action that has to be punished.


TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND-20 (Season Total 117. Av 3 goals a game)




Should be a bit tense in Adelaide on Friday night with United hosting Sydney FC. The two played off in the FFA Cup final just last week with ‘Ballboygate’ still fresh in the minds who remembered the cup final was on. There’ll be no Matt Simon to stoke the fire I guess.


Both Melbourne teams are on the road and need to seriously turn things around for varying reasons. City have the harder job heading to Newcastle for the free to air TV game while Victory travel to Wellington.



About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    A few blowouts there Dennis, any real reasons?

  2. The Victory one was very surpising but then again the Jets are very attacking and with one of Victory’s best players given a red for being a dick they just monstered them.

    City and Roar both conceded a heap because they’re mental midgets at times. Mariners (like the Jets) just keep going and going for the full 90 so Phoenix just couldn’t keep up.

    With these blow outs a lot of them are in junk time.

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