Newcastle Jets were left to rue a host of late chances in their 1-1 stalemate with Central Coast Mariners in F3 Derby 39 on Sunday.
In front of 11,238 fans at McDonald Jones Stadium the home side came to life in the final 25 minutes of the match but couldn’t finish any of their chances late as the clock wound down.
After a tight opening half-hour where both sides struggled to create chances Jets attacker Devante Clut went close from long range in the 29th minute, as his right-footed shot drifted towards the top left corner, only to be stopped by Paul Izzo in the Mariners’ goal.
From the ensuing corner new Jets defensive recruit Iain Fyfe put his header just over the bar.
In the 33rd minute Andrew Hoole weaved down the right edge before he was fouled just on the right edge of box next to the byline. Hoole played the free kick back to Clut on the edge of the area, who fired a shot which was well blocked by the Central Coast defence.
The Mariners then began probing --- Blake Powell danced past two defenders and unleashed a powerful left foot shot which was well saved by Jets custodian Jack Duncan.
The visitors’ Irish striker Roy O’Donovan then fired wide, but, the Mariners wouldn’t be denied in the 42nd minute. Jake McGing --- sent off in the corresponding match last season --- made no mistake for Central Coast, as he headed home a curling Fabio Ferreira free kick at the back post to give the visitors a one goal lead
Trailing 1-0 at the break the Jets needed to respond in the second half. First, Devante Clut had a string of volleys from the edge of the box blocked in the 58th minute. Then, in the 64th minute Morten Nordstrand cut through the heart of Central Coast defence after a pinpoint pass from Andrew Nabbout. The Danish forward found himself one-on-one with Mariners’ keeper Izzo and made no mistake restoring parity in the derby.
To make matters worse for the Mariners, defender Liam Rose was given a second yellow card in the 65th minute for a handball on the edge of the box as the Jets pushed for a winner. Hoole’s free kick flew over the bar.
Hoole had another great chance in the 81st minute as he arrowed diagonally towards goal from the right side of the box, striking his shot straight at Izzo. Aleksandr Kokko was the next to go close for the home side, as the ball looped to him at the back post. With an open goal, it seemed Kokko was certain to score until Josh Bingham came from nowhere to block the header and save the day for the Mariners.
Nordstrand also whizzed an effort just wide of Izzo’s right post as the game wore on, while left sided defender Nick Cowburn sent two strikes over the bar in the dying moments of the match as the Jets’ hopes of sealing a late derby win were dashed.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Nordstrand 64’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (McGing 42’)
McDonald Jones Stadium
Referee: Jonathan Barreiro
Newcastle Jets: 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 10. Wayne BROWN, 15. Andrew NABBOUT (9. Aleksandr KOKKO 77’), 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND, 20. Jack DUNCAN, 23. Devante CLUT (18. MA Leilei 90’), 26. Iain FYFE (5. Ben KANTAROVSKI 63’), 28. Johnny KOUTROUMBIS
Substitutes not used: 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 30. Pierce CLARK (GK)
Yellow cards: Poljak, Koutroumbis, Nabbout
Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Storm ROUX, 6. Blake POWELL (5. Harry ASCROFT 70’), 7. Fabio FERREIRA (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 77’), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (C), 9. Roy O’DONOVAN, 10. Mickael TAVARES, 11. Connor PAIN (17. Josh BINGHAM 86’), 16. Liam ROSE, 20. Paul IZZO (Gk), 21. Michael NEILL, 22. Jake MCGING
Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (Gk), 14. Adam BERRY
Yellow cards: McGing, Rose (x 2), Neill
Red cards: Rose