Jets set to appeal Griffiths' dismissal

The Newcastle Jets are likely to contest the red card shown to striker Joel Griffiths after the full-time whistle in Saturday night's dramatic 2-2 draw with the Western Sydney Wanderers at Hunter Stadium.

In an intense ending to a heart-stopping match that saw Adam Taggart score his second goal in the final minute of regular time to snatch a pulsating draw, Griffiths was shown a red card after he had words with referee Ben Williams over an incident involving Taggart being up-ended by Wanderers goal-keeper Ante Covic.

Jets coach Clayton Zane said he had spoken briefly with Griffiths over the incident but indicated the veteran striker, who was playing in his first match since returning to the club, may have a case to push due to the fact that he may not have heard the final whistle for crowd noise.

"I chatted to him (Griffiths) and he said he was in dialogue (with the ref) and he didn't think it was a red card," Zane said.

"I haven't specifically asked the words he used but a lot of the players didn't know the situation and perhaps it could have been handled a little bit differently that the players didn't know what was going on, because I didn't know from the bench that the final whistle had gone due to the crowd noise.

"So the club may want to appeal that just based on a little bit of leniency and common sense I guess."

Zane indicated that the incident involving Taggart and Covic was worthy of a free-kick to Newcastle and could have provided his side a chance to win the match.

"Obviously a lot unfolded in a short space of time. I didn't hear the whistle at the end – if that is the case that the ref blew his whistle before that action occurred I guess we have to abide by the rules of the game," he said.

"It is a tough one to swallow because I thought we were always a threat on the counter attack tonight.

"It would have been great to see what would have happened with that last action but there was other ebbs and flows in the match that could have decided it, so you can't always rely on one moment to be enough."

Zane said he was proud of the character his side showed to come back after going behind 2-1 midway through the second half and for the fact that they were forced into a re-shuffle on the eve of kick-off when marquee player Emile Heskey was ruled out due to a back injury in the pre-game warm-up.

"The lads were doing their warm-up on the field and he (Heskey) has had a back spasm just before he came in to the dressing room.

"It is a tough one because we planned throughout the week to have him and the bench is arranged around the personnel that starts the game, so that made it tough, but credit to the boys who did come off the bench. I thought they made a good impact and carried on where the starting eleven left off."

Zane also praised the efforts of two-goal hero Taggart, who carried the Newcastle attack in Heskey's absence.

"He is an out and out goal-scorer – all he thinks about is putting the ball in the net but he will do the leg work for the team as well," Zane said of Taggart.

"So he has a good character and he is definitely going to be one for the future. I have heard a few whispers that he is not an out and out goal-scorer but I see it everyday at training.

"I said to the boys before the match, we have enough fire power in that final third to get more goals.

"We probably have been guilty of being a bit goal-shy, but we just need to be a little bit clever in the final third and I thought we did that in the second half of last week and we carried that on tonight in terms of early deliver and having the courage to pull the trigger from distance as Tags (Taggart) did tonight."


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