Newcastle Jets were left to rue an abundance of missed chances and settle for a point in a 0-0 draw against Western United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Newcastle crafted 26 shots on goal to the visitor's four but failed to pierce the back of the net as their inefficiency in front of goal reared its ugly head for yet another time this season.
The Jets began the game on the front foot when Bobby Burns struck an early sighter on goal which flew off his boot on the volley and flashed just wide of United's goal with just two minutes on the clock.
After withstanding the early Newcastle pressure the visitors threatened to pull ahead when Max Burgess played Besart Berisha in behind the Jets' defence and in on goal, but the seasoned attacker couldn't find his way past Lewis Italiano in Newcastle's goal and the deadlock remained unbroken.
From that point on the Jets took control, creating the bulk of the first-half chances with their captain Nigel Boogaard going closest to scoring from a corner routine before his centre-half partner Nikolai Topor-Stanley popped up with an even better chance to score.
But, as has been the way all season for the Jets, Topor-Stanley's effort from a Dimitri Petratos free kick somehow stayed out of the net as the hosts continued their struggles in front of goal.
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The second half began much like the first with Newcastle on the front foot but lacking a clinical edge, exemplified by Petratos' miss on the goal line just minutes after the restart.
Newcastle's number 10 ghosted into the six-yard box to connect with Matt Millar's cross but with the goal at his mercy Petratos fluffed his lines, failing to connect with his right boot as the ball somehow drifted away from danger.
Petratos picked himself up from the missed chance and flung himself back into the thick of the action, playing both Ben Kantarovski and Jason Hoffman in on goal in quick succession only to see Filip Kurto dash out and block both of their respective attempts on goal from close range.
Matt Millar and Abdiel Arroyo went on to miss chances of their own before Angus Thurgate arrived off the bench to fire a venomous shot from distance just past the post, as the Jets' misfortunes in front of goal continued late into the contest.
As the game ticked into added time the hosts continued to push for the all-important opening goal but the desperately-needed strike never came, ensuring the Jets stayed rooted to the foot of the table while Western travel back to Victoria with another point attached to their name.
Burns fashions inventive chance to fire up the Jets
Keen to set the tone early Newcastle fullback Burns arrived in the box late from a corner routine to dispatch a left-foot volley toward the top right corner of goal from an acute angle.
The strike was a clean one and looked destined to sail into the back of the net but faded just wide of the mark.
Newcastle's attacking woes continue as Topor-Stanley spurns a sitter
Presented with a gilt-edged chance to put his side ahead, Topor-Stanley somehow floated his close-range attempt across the face of goal and not into the back of the net.
Pouncing on a delightful ball in from Petratos Topor-Stanley only needed to brush the ball home but his touch was too strong, allowing Western defender Andrew Durante to leap at the back post to head the ball out for a corner.
Petratos miss frustrates the hosts
At the resumption of play in the second half the Jets seemed certain to take the lead when Petratos found his way into the box to meet a perfect cross from Millar on the right.
But Newcastle's attacking talisman failed to connect with his right-footed attempt, instead sending the ball behind him with a touch off his standing leg to spurn what was a certain chance to put his side in the lead.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Sunday, 9 February
McDonald Jones Stadium
Kick off: 4.00pm AEDT
Western United on BYE