Report: 48th #F3Derby ends all square

It was the first game of the season for Newcastle fans, with the squad followed by thousands of fans down the coast to Gosford.

Following the first round bye, it was the first competitive outing for the Jets in more than a month.

There were Hyundai A-League debuts in Jets colours for three players in the starting XI – Abdiel Arroyo, Nick Fitzgerald, and Matty Millar.

As derbies often are, the start was cagey but the deadlock broken in spectacular fashion by the Mariners.

Milan Duric, at the back post rifled in a volley, which gave Glen Moss no chance with five minutes played, much to the elation of the home fans.

A goal down just minutes in, the Jets looked to bounce back and created a number of chances as the first half wore on – Dimi Petratos had a backheel cleared off the line, Nick Fitzgerald had a shot blocked, and Nikolai Topor-Stanley steered a header just wide.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley Central Coast Mariners


The boys were building pressure as the half-time whistle blew, and Ernie made one change at the break as Bobby Burns entered the fray for his club debut.

Chances came thick and fast as the second half began, and just six minutes in we had a penalty after a Mariners handball inside the area.

Dimi Petratos stepped up for the spot-kick but his effort was saved by Mark Birighitti – however, VAR ruled that the ‘keeper was off his line and the penalty was retaken.

Going the same way on the second attempt, Dimi made no mistake in levelling things up at 1-1.


Newcastle continued to create chances as the game wore on and were looking hard for a winner. Matt Millar, against his old club, was causing all sorts of problems down the right-hand side while Steven Ugarkovic was at his industrious best in the centre of the park.

It was the full-back who went closest with 15 minutes left to play – his volley from a brilliant Bobby Burns cross saved spectacularly by Mark Birighitti.

Chances at either end marked the final stages, with sharp saves and desperate defending ensuring that the 48th edition of the F3 Derby ended in stalemate.