F3 Derby finishes in stalemate

The Newcastle Jets played out a 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners in Saturday night’s F3 Derby at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Hunter Ports Newcastle Jets played out an entertaining 0-0 draw with the Central Coast Mariners in Saturday night-s F3 Derby at Bluetongue Stadium.

In wet conditions, neither side was able to find a way past their opponent-s defence, despite some enterprising play from both teams.

Buoyed on by a large number of vocal travelling supporters, it was the Jets had the first real chance of the contest following some neat interplay between Craig Goodwin, James Brown and Emile Heskey.

The ball eventually found its way to Goodwin on the left-hand edge of the penalty area. The winger cut back onto his right foot and tried to curl a shot inside the far post, but hit it too close to Matt Ryan who made a regulation save.

Heskey had a pair half chances midway through the first half but he was unable to direct his header towards goal, firstly following a precise cross from the left flank by Goodwin and later following a near-identical ball from Sam Gallaway.

The Mariners looked desitined to score in the 40th minute when Michael McGlinchey beat a pair of Jets defenders on the right wing, before working his way into the box.

However, Mark Birighitti was alert to the danger and made a superb save to tip McGlinchey-s shot over the crossbar.

The Jets finished the half with a flurry of corners and nearly hit the lead when Josh Brillante-s powerful drive on the half-volley forced Ryan to make a diving save right on the stroke of half-time.

Just minutes after the restart the Jets had two golden opportunities to open the scoring.

Firstly, Goodwin skipped past the Mariners defence on the left flank with a classy nutmeg before firing a shot into the side netting when perhaps a pass was a better option.

Just minutes later, Goodwin played in Brown with a well weighted through-ball, but like Goodwin-s earlier chance Brown was unable to get his shot on target from an acute angle.

The Jets were nearly made to rue their missed opportunities in the 73rd minute when Birighitti was forced to make a sharp reflex save low to his left to keep out a cross that had deflected off Connor Chapman.

Leading goal-scorer Daniel McBreen gave the Jets another scare two minutes later when he drove a low shot with his left foot from just inside the penalty area that skidded into the side-netting.

However, despite a great display of endeavour and commitment from both the Jets and Mariners, neither side was able to break the deadlock and the match finished in a scoreless draw.

Newcastle Jets 0 Central Coast Mariners 0 Crowd 11,249 at Bluetongue Stadium

Newcastle Jets starting XI: 2. Scott Neville, 4. Josh Mitchell, 7. James Brown 8. Ruben Zadkovich (c), 9. Emile Heskey (17. James Virgili 60-), 11. Connor Chapman, 12. Josh Brillante (16. Jobe Wheelhouse 89-), 13. Sam Gallaway, 15. Craig Goodwin (26. Andrew Hoole 84-), 20. Mark Birighitti (gk), 23. Ryan Griffiths. Yellow cards: Ruben Zadkovich 27-, James Brown 33-, Josh Mitchell 65- Substitutes not used: 1. Ben Kennedy (gk),

Central Coast Mariners starting XI: 1. Mathew Ryan (gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 11. Oliver Bozanic, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres (18. Nick Montgomery 55-), 21. Mile Sterjovski (23. Adam Kwasnik 75-) Yellow cards: Mile Sterjovski 73-. Substitutes not used: 5. Zachary Anderson, 20. Justin Pasfield (gk).