‘Goodness gracious me’: Harper left perplexed by Roar-Jets

One week ago, it appeared Newcastle were ready to mount an assault on the top six. Two wins on the trot, against finals aspirants Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix set the Jets soaring into the finals picture. 

The next two fixtures on the agenda? Away trips to Perth (last) and Brisbane (second last). 

Six points were targeted, but just one was gained.

A 0-0 draw against Perth was followed by a 2-0 loss to the Roar on Sunday afternoon, as the Jets showed one of the key weaknesses threatening to derail their season: inconsistency.


In the aftermath of their Roar defeat, Paramount+ football analyst Andy Harper bemoaned Newcastle’s stop-start form under Arthur Papas.

“Goodness gracious me, this team has excited their fans sometimes beyond description, and then come out in this game against the team that’s second from the bottom and barely lay a glove on them,” Harper said on the Paramount+ post-game show.

“It was quite a remarkably poor performance from Newcastle, I’d love to know the context – the coach will be able to do that, I guess, knowing what’s going on there – but geez, I’ll tell you what, there was only one team after 10 minutes looking anything like (winning) today and thankfully for Brisbane they were able to carry it through – because they’ve lost from similar positions before.”

Newcastle have strung back-to-back wins together on just one occasion this season, and have failed to go more than three games unbeaten in succession.

At their best, they can take the fight to any team in the league. It’s what makes their performance against Brisbane all the more perplexing: the Roar had 17 shots to Newcastle’s three, putting six shots on target with the Jets failing to put one on the mark. 

Red cards in each of their two games against Perth and Brisbane rubbed further salt into the wounds.

Harper continued: “It’s close enough for all those guys in the bottom half of the table to do something, but this was the surprise with Newcastle: they drew 0-0 away to Perth, that’s a bit of a hammer blow, and then turn up to the second-bottom team (and lose). 

“They’ve played the two bottom teams and picked up one point from six, and they haven’t performed well enough… these are six points you’d bank on when you look at the table, and scream: “That gets us into the finals positions”. They’ve come up with almost nothing.”

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90+3′: GOAL! Ivanovic with a superb finish (2-0)

That ices the cake for the Roar.

Luke Ivanovic has found the back of the net with a curling strike off the left side of the penalty area struck into the far-right corner, leaving Duncan no chance of keeping the ball out.

83′: GOAL! Hore gives Roar deserved lead (1-0)

Brisbane have a well-deserved lead in the final 10 minutes, with Hore grabbing his fifth goal of the campaign to go equal-top on the Roar’s leading goalscorer list for the season.

Hore found the back of the net on the end of a run which began on the left side of the box, dribbling into the box and across the face of goal, faking to shoot on multiple occasions before sliding the ball past Duncan.

81′: RED CARD! Mauragis off for second yellow (0-0)

For the second time in as many games, the Jets are down to 10 men. This time it was Mauragis receiving his marching orders for a second yellow, coming in late to collect Roar defender Scott Neville.

72′: FREE-KICK! But no penalty for the hosts (0-0)

A tussle between Matthew Jurman and Cyrus Dehmie began outside the box and continued into the penalty area.

Referee Beath blew the whistle, but for a free-kick, not a penalty, with Beath interpreting the initial foul – a shirt tug – beginning outside the box.

The Roar players were adamant a penalty should have been awarded, but instead settled for the free-kick which O’Shea blasted off the wall and out for a corner.

58′: CHANCE! O’Shea strike evades top corner (0-0)

Dribbling across the edge of the 18-yard box, O’Shea let a strike off his weaker left foot rip; the shot rifled toward the top-left corner, but lacked the necessary curl to hit the target, instead floating just past the top corner.

54′: CHANCE! Daley off the post (0-0)

Jesse Daley has rattled the woodwork with a curling effort from outside the box as Brisbane look to take the lead.

His first-time strike had Duncan beaten but the ball cannoned into the right-hand goalpost.

50′: CHANCE! O’Shea off the line at Jets plea for penalty (0-0)

A Jason Hoffman strike from a narrow angle in the box looked sure to rattle the back of the net before deflecting off Roar midfielder Jay O’Shea and away for a corner.

Hoffman led a chorus of Newcastle shouts for handball on the goal line, and referee Chris Beath ventured to the pitch side monitor to review the incident, only to find a handball on Hoffman before the ball was struck toward goal.


It’s another early Jets substitution, with Valentino Yuel coming off the pine in place of Siatravanis to change the fave of Newcastle’s attacking unit in the second stanza.


The Jets survive to half-time having barely tested the Roar defence, with goalkeeper Jordan Holmes going virtually unsighted throughout the opening 45 minutes in goal for the hosts.

One positive for Newcastle, however, is that they are yet to concede; Brisbane have had plenty of the ball, but in terms of genuine chances have had just as much success as the visitors thus far.

35′: Murnane hooked by Papas early (0-0)

Lucas Mauragis is on for Dylan Murnane after just 35 minutes in the first half, as Jets boss Arthur Papas looks to change the early pattern of play with the Roar in control.

33′: Jets level drops as Brisbane get on top (0-0)

The hosts are enjoying a sustained spell of possession and are starting to create chances as the Jets sit back, not showing the same level of energy displayed through the opening 15 minutes of play.

20′: Hore fires wide (0-0)

Henry Hore looked to find the bottom right corner with a shot from distance – but failed to get enough purchase on the strike as he fell to the ground. The ball looked set to test Jets keeper Jack Duncan before fading past the post.

8′: Thurgate set free in Penha absence (0-0)

Angus Thurgate is operating in a more offensive role with key Jets creator Daniel Penha suspended for today’s clash with the Roar.

Both Thurgate and Savvas Siatravanis are set up as Newcastle’s two most attacking midfielders, holding narrow position in behind striker Beka Mikeltadze.

1′: KICK-OFF (0-0)

The teams are out in the Queensland sunshine as play gets underway at Moreton Daily Stadium.