Heart and Jets play out NYL stalemate

Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets have fought out a dour 0-0 draw in the Foxtel National Youth League at Epping Stadium on Saturday.

Melbourne Heart and Newcastle Jets have fought out a dour 0-0 draw in the Foxtel National Youth League at Epping Stadium on Saturday.

Ross Archibald struck the crossbar with a header late in the first half with the Jets’ Radovan Pavicevic failing to bury a rebound just after the second half resumed.

The possession was shared in the first half with neither team able to create significant openings until the latter stage of the period.

Heart were the better side in the second-half but could not quite breach the goal with Jets’ keeper Ben Kennedy in quality form.

After a chanceless opening 15 minutes, Jets’ midfielder Mitch Oxborrow had the first strike of the game with his curling shot saved by the well-positioned Tando Velaphi.

Paulo Retre was pulling the strings for Heart in midfield and soon after narrowly missing a header in the six-yard box, the playmaker was involved in releasing Gol Gol Mebrahtu, who saw his pull back blasted over the bar by Marcus Schroen.

Newcastle’s Kennedy has plenty of A-League goalkeeping experience which was demonstrated by a superb diving save from Jonatan Germano’s scorching strike on 39 minutes.

As half-time approached, Heart’s Archibald had a pair of golden chances; first blasting the ball over the bar after a goalmouth scramble before striking the crossbar with a looping header from Mebrahtu’s corner.

The Jets had their best chance of the game straight after the restart as Oxborrow had his shot parried by Velaphi before the former Melbourne Victory goalkeeper clawed the ball off the line when Radovan Pavicevic attempted to side foot the rebound in.

Midway through the second-half, Matthew Bilic should have put the Jets ahead as he sprinted through on goal after a long ball but could only slot his shot just wide of the far post.

Mebrahtu was a constant threat to the Jets defence with his lay-off to Alex Dao resulting in a shot inches wide of the post before forcing Kennedy into a point-blank save with 10 minutes to play.

Heart did have one last chance to break the deadlock with substitute Stipo Andrijasevic clear header going straight at Kennedy in second-half stoppage time.

A point for both side’s sees the Jets remain in second position, 10 points behind leaders Sydney FC while Heart stay in seventh position, one point adrift of the sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.

Melbourne Heart 0
Newcastle Jets 0

Melbourne Heart: 1. Tando Velaphi (GK), 2. Jeremy Walker (12. Stipo Andrijasevic 62′), 3. Philip Petreski (C), 4. Andrew Mullett, 5. Ross Archibald, 8. Paulo Retre, 10. Marcus Schroen (9, Luke O’Dea 61′), 11. Gol Gol Mebrahtu, 13. Jonatan Germano (6. Alex Dao 62′), 14. Ersin Kaya, 15. Sam Mitchinson

Newcastle Jets: 1. Ben Kennedy (GK), 2. Mitch Finlayson, 3. Thomas Whiteside, 4. Josh Mitchell (C), 5. Matthew Bilic, 6. Mitch Oxborrow, 7. Radovan Pavicevic, 8. Nicholas Cowburn, 9. Kale Bradbery, 10. Thomas Waller (14. Andrew Pawiak 41′), 11. Brandon Lundy (12. Ben Hay 60′)