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Honours even between Central Coast and Newcastle

A-League Round 2 kicked off tonight with a 1-1 draw between derby rivals Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets. Central Coast Mariners: 1 Newcastle Jets: 1

Scorers:CCM - Nigel Boogaard 50' New - Jin Hyung-Song 46'

Venue: Bluetongue Stadium

In the 11th minute, Mariners defender Dean Heffernan overlapped and whipped in a quality left-footed ball from the flank straight onto the head of Matt Simon who put it away past Jets keeper Ben Kennedy but the striker was ruled off-side, letting the visitors off early in the piece.

Eight minutes later, Jets skipper Matt Thompson found space outside the area and unleashed a powerful shot straight into the gloves of Danny Vukovic and with the ensuring rebound, the Mariners cleared, finding Michael McGlinchey on the edge of the box, who twisted his way around defenders and played a nice cross to Dylan Macallister who was unable to guide his shot into the back of the net.

In the 21st minute, Malta international John Hutchinson played a long free-kick into the area that cleared all players and had Kennedy rooted to the spot but unfortunately for the Mariners, hit the upright.

Just over ten minutes later, Kennedy was called on again when Adam Kwasnik was on the end of a corner and headed to the near post but the keeper produced a wonderful reflex save to again keep the Jets in the contest.

Last week's goal hero for the Jets, Jason Hoffman, found himself with a gift at the back of a crowd of players following a Fabio Vignaroli free-kick but completely miscued his shot, unmarked from inside the area.

In injury time, the Mariners were again unlucky, when Macallister picked out Simon who put his header wide of the mark to take the game to the break with honours even.

Two minutes after the re-start, the Jets broke the deadlock against the run of play through South Korean import Jin Hyung-Song who was free in the area and managed to easily put away a bouncing ball which came off an ill-directed header from Nigel Boogaard.

But the lead was short-lived when the Mariners equalised in the 50th minute thanks to a glancing shoulder from Boogaard which came from a well-taken free-kick by the busy McGlinchey.

The Jets dominated possession for much of the next 15 minutes but were unable to get back in front as the home side defended solidly.

The next best chance came for the Mariners when substitute Nik Mrdja was left unmarked at the back post but he scuffed his right-foot shot before skipper Alex Wilkinson rose above the pack but put his header over the bar with four minutes remaining.

However, neither side could edge ahead and had to settle for a point each.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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