Newcastle Jets have missed the chance to edge within three points of the Hyundai A-League top six after playing out a 0-0 draw with Adelaide United on Sunday.
Playing their fourth game in 12 days, the Jets did their best to try and get maximum points but couldn’t find a breakthrough against a Reds side who seemed content to take a point.
Although it was the visitors who went closest to taking all three points, with Craig Goodwin rattling the woodwork late in the first half.
It was the closest either side came in a match devoid of too many clear-cut chances.
The result means the Jets remain in seventh position, five points behind sixth-placed Wellington Phoenix, while the Reds consolidate their position in the top four.
It was a cagey first half with little in terms of genuine goal-scoring chances.
Newcastle went closest to opening the scoring just before the half-hour mark when Ivan Vujica’s teasing cross from the left evaded both Roy O’Donovan and Kaine Sheppard who only needed to get a touch.
But it was the Reds who should have taken a lead to the break.
A swift counter-attack three minutes before the end of the half saw Goodwin skip clear of Nigel Boogaard and drive into the box.
His rasping drive beat Jets keeper Glen Moss but cannoned onto the crossbar and away.
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Looking to for a spark, Jets boss Ernie Merrick introduced youngster Joey Champness just after the hour mark and it almost paid immediate dividends.
Champness’ deflected shot looped towards goal and was dropping in but Reds gloveman Paul Izzo did brilliantly to back-pedal and tip the ball over the bar.
Goodwin forced Moss into another strong save with 15 minutes left but it was the home side that finished the stronger, with O’Donovan somehow missing a late header from Lachlan Jackson’s delicious cross.