United's grand final dream crashes
THERE will be many should have and could haves floating around Gold Coast United headquarters this week, after the glamour club’s grand final dream came to a disappointing and early end at Skilled Park on Saturday night.
With the stalemate unbroken after 120 minutes of A-League semi-final football, the competition debutant suffered a dramatic 6-5 penalty shoot-out loss to the Newcastle Jets.
United had its chances to close the game out in regulation time, but failed to find the back of the net on several costly occasions.
One question Tweed fans might ask is why it took coach Miron Bleiberg so long to introduce form Kingscliff flyer James Brown into the mix.
The 19-year-old was overlooked for much of the game, despite scoring in his starting debut against the Jets in January.
It wasn’t until the 95th minute that Brown entered the frame. However, he made his presence felt immediately, to the joy of the majority of the 4109 fans.
He troubled Jets keeper Ben Kennedy and produced several deft touches.
Neat interplay from Brown, Shane Smeltz and Joel Porter in the second period of extra time resulted in United’s Golden Boot winner, Smeltz, hooking a shot centimetres wide.
An amazing sequence of events in the Jets’ box then led to Kennedy producing a remarkable triple save from Smeltz (twice) and Brown.
With a little more time to terrorise, Brown could have proven the difference. But he wasn’t given the chance and the game went to penalties, where Kennedy was the hero once more.