The Newcastle Jets finally got on the score sheet but they will be upset with the result as they let a 2-0 lead slip as they had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners in the F3 Derby at Hunter Stadium on Saturday night.
It was a tight match with both teams fighting hard and physically for dominance against their local rivals and it was the Jets who were able to first wrestle control.
The first chance came in the 15th minute with Adam Taggart finding space on the left thanks to a counter and crossing for Andrew Hoole who could only send his shot wide.
It continued to be the Jets who controlled the match and Scott Neville was next up to provide a chance as he crossed for Nathan Burns who could only head the ball wide.
The first half was tight and largely played as a physical midfield battle which kept chances at a premium but the Jets had one last chance before the break as Neville was able to set up Hoole who sent his effort over the bar keeping the match scoreless at the break.
After almost seven scoreless hours Newcastle finally broke through in the second half just six minutes in as Ruben Zadkovic sent a free-kick out for Burns who sent the ball in for Taggart who saw his initial effort blocked but the rebound fell to Neville who was able to easily tap home the opener.
Another six minutes later and it was two as a Justin Pasfield goal keeping mistake saw him misjudge Trent Sainsbury's back pass as it went off the underside of his boot as he tried to clear forcing the keeper to scramble back but he didn't make it, crossing the line before he could clear and earning the Mariners' keeper an own goal.
That forced Graham Arnold to go to his bench and he brought on two attacking players as the Mariners looked to take control of the match needing two goals.
The Mariners were handed their way back in to the match in the 64th minute when Connor Chapman put his arm out to deny a Josh Rose cross.
That allowed Marcos Rojas to step up and take the penalty which he scored only to be forced to retake due to encroachment but it didn't phase the Argentine who was able to stick it in the back of the net again and put the Mariners back into the match.
The Mariners put the pressure on the match for the rest of the match and Simon went close to equalizing moments later with Mark Birighitti making a solid save off his header.
The pressure was piling up and with ten minutes to play the Mariners were back on level terms as Mitchell Duke saw his shot come off the bar and fall to Sterjovski who tapped home the equalizer.
Both sides fought hard in the final ten minutes trying to find a winner but in the end both teams had to settle for a point in a tight and physical match.