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Heart beat Jets, climb off bottom of table
By Greg Buckle
20:00 AEST Tue Jan 1 2013

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond expressed his frustration to referee Chris Beath at halftime and was still scratching his head after the match as the Jets suffered a 2-1 A-League defeat to Melbourne Heart on Tuesday.

The Heart moved to 15 points with their fourth win of the season, jumping off the bottom ahead of Sydney FC (13 points) while the Jets remain on 16 points.

Coach John Aloisi's men held a 2-1 advantage at halftime and were able to defend their lead in a scoreless second half in front of 5641 fans.

Golgol Mebrahtu put the Heart 1-0 up in the sixth minute with a powerful right-foot strike into the net after linking up with Josip Tadic.

A clever intercept and pass from former England international Emile Heskey gave Ryan Griffiths a goal-scoring opportunity and Griffiths was ankle-tapped by Heart goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne who was yellow-carded for the incident in the 18th minute.

Griffiths scored with the resulting penalty to equalise but, eight minutes later, the Heart were back in front following another penalty as Redmayne's rival goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was yellow-carded for bringing down Heart's Jonathan Germano.

Tadic scored with the penalty attempt as the Heart went ahead 2-1.

The incident left van Egmond in a rage as the Jets' boss claimed Birighitti had taken possession and then the ball was knocked free.

Van Egmond followed the match officials down the players' tunnel at halftime to discuss the issue.

"There was some frustration out there," van Egmond said.

"I was just wondering about the decision with the penalty.

"I think he misinterpreted. He was talking about a different decision so nothing really got cleared up.

"I thought (Birighitti) had the ball and then there was a collision and then he didn't have the ball.

"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 haven't seen it on the replay."

Aloisi said both penalties against the goalkeepers were good decisions.

Van Egmond said his side had only themselves to blame for their poor first half, saying they were second to the ball.

Aloisi admitted his men played a poor second half but he was happy to win ugly.

"The way the boys grinded out a result, we haven't been able to do that all season so that gives the team a boost and that's the most important thing," Aloisi said.

Heskey was awarded a yellow card for dissent in the 87th minute in an incident that summed up Newcastle's mood for the day.

Heskey was double-teamed at times by defenders Simon Colosimo and Patrick Gerhardt.

"He wins some headers, that's it. On the ground, he didn't do anything much," Gerhardt said.

The Jets host Adelaide United on Saturday while the Heart host Brisbane Roar on Sunday.