Newcastle and Brisbane play out goal-less draw

Last updated 01:14 23/02/2013

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Newcastle held on to sixth spot on the A-League ladder after drawing 0-0 with Brisbane at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.

It was a crucial encounter with just five rounds of the regular season remaining with the Jets holding the final playoff spot and the defending champions Roar just two points behind in seventh

But in very wet and rainy conditions neither side was able to break the deadlock.

With the visitors dominating the first half before a crowd of 8,310 but unable to make the most of their chances on goal, the second stanza was a mirror effort with the Jets looking the more likely but unable to force the issue.

After Roar goalkeeper Michael Theo dived to stop a Ruben Zadkovich snap just after the break, it was Adam Taggart who had the best opportunities for the Jets in the second half.

In the 58th and 72nd minute, Taggart had shots on goal but couldn't find the back of the net, with Theo again featuring on an impressive night for both keepers.

Newcastle had some good early chances when an Emile Heskey shot rebounded off the post in the sixth minute and again when a Taggart strike flew well over the bar in the 10th minute.

In atrocious conditions which included torrential rain and howling, swirling winds, Brisbane controlled much of the first half and could have easily gone to the break one or two goals ahead.

The Jets owe much to shot stopper Mark Birighitti, who was a rock at the back for the home side in trying conditions.

Brisbane's best opportunity came in the 30th minute when Birighitti intervened to prevent a freed Besart Berisha getting a decent shot on goal.

And again when the custodian stopped a Stefan Nijland strike in the 42nd minute.

A minute later, Jade North found the back of the net when he latched onto a long ball, but the former Jet was ruled offside.

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