Newcastle Jets were unable to break their winless run at home in the F3 Derby, as missed chances cost the home side as they looked to re-enter the Hyundai A-League’s top six with a victory over Central Coast Mariners.
The derby entertained the 9,423 strong crowd but both sets of supporters would have headed home disappointed their side had not taken the three points.
After an end to end opening five minutes returning striker Aleksandr Kokko had a shout for a penalty in the 9th minute as he controlled an Andrew Hoole cross and looked to turn and shoot.
Kokko didn’t have to wait much longer for his second opportunity and he made the Mariners pay. Morten Nordstrand raced down the Jets left edge and curled a pinpoint cross to the edge of the six-yard box. Kokko was too strong for the Central Coast defence and headed home his first Hyundai A-League goal with ease.
Fabio Ferreira almost levelled the score immediately after when he outpaced the Jets right side of defence. Johnny Koutroumbis did well to recover and block Ferreira’s shot.
Ferreira went close again in the 38th minute, firing wide from the edge of the box. The Mariners continued to create chances, as Connor Pain curled his effort just outside the top right corner.
The Jets went to the sheds a goal to the good.
After the break the Mariners levelled after a shanked clearance following a Mariners corner fell to Scott Galloway on the edge of the area. The former Melbourne Victory man thundered home a right foot drive.
The Jets threatened in the 59th minute as a Hoole cross this time found Nordstrand, but Central Coast keeper Paul Izzo was good enough to make the block.
Making his Jets debut in goals Tomislav Arčaba made a brilliant save in the 63rd minute to deny Ferreira who shot from outside the box. The ball flew towards Arčaba’s top right corner but the well travelled ‘keeper got fingers to it to tip the shot over the woodwork.
Minutes later and the Jets had two golden opportunities. First Hoole and Nordstrand had a two on one, Hoole being dispossessed before he could pass to the Dane. Nordstrand broke through seconds later only to dwell on the ball too long and the former FC Copenhagen striker was unable to get his shot away through the retreating Mariners defence.
The Jets continued to probe in the final 20 minutes, but the Mariners defence held firm. The visitors threatened to steal the three points in stoppage time, as a Josh Bingham header was cleared off the line by the determined Koutroumbis.
A winner wasn’t to come for either side and the rivals were left to share the points for the second time this season. 1-1 the final score.
The draw means the Jets move up to seventh on the ladder, two points outside the top six. Newcastle will meet Brisbane Roar - a side they have defeated twice this season - at McDonald Jones Stadium next Sunday evening at 7:00pm.Newcastle Jets 1 (Kokko 20’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Galloway 50’)
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium
Referee: Shaun Evans
Newcastle Jets: 2. Daniel MULLEN, 3. Jason HOFFMAN (C), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Mateo POLJAK (5. Ben KANTAROVSKI 63’), 9. Aleksandr KOKKO (23. Devante CLUT 76’), 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND (29. Joel ALLWRIGHT 86’), 22. Lachlan JACKSON, 28. John KOUTROUMBIS, 50. Tomislav ARČABA (Gk)
Substitutes not used: 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 30. Pierce CLARK (Gk)
Yellow cards: Jackson, Ugarkovic
Red cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 7. Fabio FERREIRA (14. Adam BERRY 88’), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Roy O’DONOVAN, 11. Connor PAIN (17. Josh BINGHAM 90’), 13. Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 76’), 16. Liam ROSE, 20. Paul IZZO (Gk), 22. Jake MCGING
Substitutes not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (Gk), 5. Harry ASCROFT
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil