Spoils shared as 50th F3 Derby ends goalless


The 50th F3 Derby ended in a goalless stalemate on Friday night as the Mariners and Jets could not be separated at Central Coast Stadium.

There were chances at both ends, particularly as the game wound down but neither side could find a way through on the night.

Carl Robinson named an unchanged line-up from the side that beat Sydney during the week, while Alen Stajcic brought Alou Kuol into the XI to make his first ever Hyundai A-League start.

The Jets started strongly and Ziggy Gordon was forced into a big tackle after 20 minutes to break down an attack, before Sam Silvera created an opportunity down the other end, stealing the ball and feeding Kuol who lost out in a battle with Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Gordon again was called upon, this time to deny Nick Fitzgerald a simple finish at the back post, and Silvera caused problems again when he danced through the Jets defence before firing straight at Lewis Italiano.

Tommy Oar came on for the second half for Daniel DeSilva and Josh Nisbet replaced Jacob Melling shortly before the interval for Stajcic’s side and the Mariners began to turn the tide of the game through the second stanza.

Milan Djuric fired over early in the half as the ball dropped to him from a corner and his side enjoyed more threatening spells of possession as the half progressed.

The hosts nullified the threat of the Jets down the right that they had enjoyed through the first half, and a strong press created trouble at the back for the visitors as the game wore on.

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz and Jair were also introduced to the game as the Mariners pushed for a winner, but neither side was able to break through.

Mark Birighitti pulled off a stunning close range stop from Kosta Petratos to keep scores level with 10 minutes to play, and that is how the game would end as both sides hung on through four minutes of stoppage time.

The Mariners now host Western Sydney Wanderers on Monday at Central Coast Stadium!

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