Jets, Sydney share spoils

The Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC have fought out a torrid 0-0 draw in a tense Hyundai A-League round-four clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

The Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC have fought out a torrid 0-0 draw in a tense Hyundai A-League round-four clash at EnergyAustralia Stadium on Saturday night.

The defending champions turned around some poor recent form to show far more commitment from the opening whistle to outmuscle their more fancied East Coast rivals and have the better of opportunities in what could be described as a spiteful encounter.

Newcastle players Matt Thompson, Tarek Elrich and Jobe Wheelhouse were all shown yellow cards as were former Jet Mark Bridge and FC forward Brendon Santalab, while replacement Sydney midfielder Mitchell Prentice was sent from the field late in the match for his second yellow for a studs-up challenge on Jets stand-in skipper Adam Griffiths.

Bridge and former Novocastrian Stuart Musalik were shown plenty of attention in an even first half before Newcastle took control of the second stanza but couldn't convert a number of promising opportunities as the clash finished in a goalless draw.

Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond was pleased with the attitude shown by his players, especially after coming off a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Melbourne last start.

"The energy was good, the intensity was good and everything we spoke about good," he said after the match. "We are happy we didn't get scored against. It was one of the things we really worked on after conceding eight goals in three games and probably with a little more luck we could have got the three points. But to Sydney-s credit they worked hard and were always dangerous on the counter."

The Jets had the first chance of the match in the sixth minute when Joel Griffiths played a lovely ball through for Edmundo Zura to stride into the penalty box, but the Ecuadorian could only fire his shot from wide on the six-yard box into the side netting.

Joel Griffiths headed over the bar from a pin-point corner from Korean import Jin-Hyung Song in the 12th minute before Sydney had its first chance just moments later courtesy of an Alex Brosque break down the right flank. His cross found striker John Aloisi directly in front of goal but his shot was well blocked by Jets defender Tarek Elrich.

Sydney defender Iain Fyfe fired a vicious volley from a Shannon Cole corner wide of the mark in the 22nd minute before Ante Covic did well to keep out Brosque's header after Bridge and Robbie Middleby had combined well to break down the left wing.

Zura tried a spectacular scissor kick at goal while down the other end Brosque and Cole were causing havoc in the Newcastle penalty area.

The Jets had the last chance of the first half when Song broke free of Middleby's marking to launch an attack down the right side. He found Jason Hoffman who took the ball toward the corner before squaring back to Elrich, who fired a powerful volley into the arms of Bolton to leave the scores 0-0 at the break.

James Holland went within inches of claiming the opening goal just minutes into the second half when his shot from wide on the right bounced off the crossbar, although Bolton looked like he had it well covered.

Holland went close again in the 55th minute after more good work from Song found Zura in the box. His clever back-heel flick gave Holland a free shot on the edge of the box but he could only fire it into the side netting.

Aloisi had a couple of chances for Sydney, firing an ambitious volley well wide of the mark and just missing an open header from a Corica corner, but for the most part it was the home side which had the better of the possession and territory.

Joel Griffiths made Bolton work with a well-hit long range effort before twin brother Adam had the best chance of proceedings when he glanced his header from another pin-point Song corner just wide off the far post.

A flurry of yellow cards were shown towards the end of the match as frustrations surfaced and the Jets continued to attack without reward as Sydney hung on for a tense draw.

Sydney coach John Kosmina said he was pleased to come away from the match with a point.

"It is always good to come here and get something," he said. "But having said that I think we dropped our intensity in the second half. But it was another game we didn-t concede and we played some really good stuff and came away with a point. So from a football progression point of view, I was happy."

Newcastle Jets 0 Sydney FC 0 Crowd 11,535 at EnergyAustralia Stadium.