Heart spot-kick baffles Van Egmond

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond was at a loss to explain the decision to award Melbourne Heart a penalty, claiming Mark Birighitti was fouled in the lead up.

Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond was at a loss to explain the decision to award Melbourne Heart a first-half penalty, claiming goalkeeper Mark Birighitti was fouled in the lead up at AAMI Park on Tuesday.

With Heart's season on life support, the Melbourne club got their campaign back on track thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win at home to the Jets.

Croatian striker Josip Tadic sealed the points with a 26th-minute penalty after Birighitti appeared to bring down Jonatan Germano inside the area.

The incident clearly infuriated Van Egmond and it led to the Jets tactician following referee Chris Beath into the tunnel at the half-time break, where he unleashed a verbal tirade directed at the match officials.

After the match, Van Egmond said he felt his goalkeeper was deserving of a free kick.

"From my point of view I saw it and thought Birighitti had the ball and then there was a collision and then he didn't have the ball," he said.

"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 don't know, I haven't seen it on the replay."

When quizzed about the half-time exchange, Van Egmond said: "I was trying to get an understanding (of the penalty decision).

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

"From my point of view you can't touch a goalkeeper in a corner situation then all of a sudden he's come out and got the ball.

"He doesn't lose it because there's no one there, there's a collision."

Despite the controversial penalty, the championship-winning coach felt his side was not worthy of maximum points based on their performance during the opening 45 minutes in Melbourne.

"I thought we were second to the ball and didn't compete as well as what Heart did," Van Egmond said.

"We didn't win enough ball and second ball and even if we talk about playing out and keeping the ball but you have to turn up and win the battle to earn the right to play.

"I thought in the first half Heart had more of that than what we did. Second half again is a different game and we looked to try and equalise but unfortunately we didn't."