F3 Derby stalemate sees finals hopes slip away

McDonald Jones Stadium proved to be the place to be on Sunday night, with the F3 Derby between Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners highlighting both side’s craving to enter the final six in the upcoming weeks.

The Jets were hungry to keep their finals hopes alive in the early minutes when strikers Aleksandr Kokko and Andrew Nabbout worked hard to open the scoring. Both were taken down inside the 18-yards box, however neither was given a shot from the spot for the challenges.

Eventually the home side did open the scoring after a brilliant run behind the defence from Morten Nordstrand, followed by a cross, found the head of Kokko. The ball gifted the Finnish attacker his first goal for the Jets and saw his side take a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute.

A scuffle almost broke out after stand-in captain, Jason Hoffman had a heavy hit with Kwabena Appiah-Kubi. Hoffman took the Mariners’ attacker out, before falling over him and kicking him in the head. The defender avoided the booking sheet, but Appiah-Kubi was given a free kick for the heavy tackle.

A lax pass back and slow movement from goalkeeper Tomislav Arcaba combined to nearly gift the Mariners’ their reply goal. Roy O’Donovan pressed on the Jets’ keeper and deflected the ball back towards the goal. An early celebration from O’Donovan proved not warranted when the ball sailed over the goal.

Scott Galloway delivered the visiting sides reply in the 49th minute; after a corner deflected out to the 18-yard semi circle and allowed the fullback to hit his well-hit strike into the top left corner. After the goal, the Mariners’ performance on the pitch improved across the board.

Following the equaliser, the Central Coast had multiple chances in front of goal and were unlucky to not take the lead. However, clinical errors on the pitch from the Mariners allowed Newcastle to remain in the match. With several prime chances given to the Jets, the side struggled to find the back of the net too.

With only six matches left in the season, both the Mariners’ and the Jets’ finals hopes seem to have sailed with the F3 Derby draw. Both sides can only progress into finals football after the 1-1 draw, if they win the remainder of their matches.

Newcastle Jets 1 (Kokko 20′)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Galloway 49′)

Stadium: McDonald Jones Stadium
Crowd: 9,423

Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referees: James Cleal & Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Newcastle Jets: 2. MULLEN Daniel, 3. HOFFMAN Jason (C), 6. UGARKOVIC Steven (Yellow Card 84′), 7. HOOLE Andrew, 8. POLJAK Mateo (5. KANTAROVSKI Benjamin 62′), 9. KOKKO Aleksandr (23. CLUT Devante 76′), 15. NABBOUT Andrew, 19. NORDSTRAND Morten (29. ALLWRIGHT Joel 86′), 22. JACKSON Lachlan (Yellow Card 46′), 28. KOUTROUMBIS John, 50. ARCABA Tomislav (GK)

Substitutes: 16. COWBURN Nicholas, 30. CLARK Pierce (GK)

Central Coast Mariners: 2. ROUX Storm, 3. GALLOWAY Scott, 4. POSCOLIERO Jacob, 7. FERREIRA Fabio (14. BERRY Adam 87′), 8. MONTGOMERY Nick (C), 9. O’DONOVAN Roy, 11. PAIN Connor (17. BINGHAM Josh 90′), 13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena (12. BUHAGIAR Trent 75′), 16. ROSE Liam, 20. IZZO Paul (GK), 22. MCGING Jake

Substitutes: 1. NECEVSKI Ivan (GK), 5. ASCROFT Harry

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