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Jets stay in six after Roar draw

22 February 2013-AAP

stefan nijland brisbane roar

Outnumbered ... Stefan Nijland takes on two Jets defenders (Getty)

Newcastle Jets climbed to joint fifth spot on the A-League ladder after drawing 0-0 with Brisbane Roar 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 champion just two points behind in seventh.

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

With the visitor dominating the first half before a crowd of 8310 but unable to make the most of its 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 shot 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 minutes, 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.

Jets coach Gary van Egmond said he was not unhappy with the point, but bemoaned his side's inability to take their chances.

"We had some chances and some chances to make chances if that makes sense," he said.

"Maybe with our final delivery or the final run we didn't put two and two together."

Brisbane coach Mike Mulvey said the result kept his side in with a shot at defending the championship.

"It's a point away from home," he said.

"It's kept us within striking distance of Newcastle. It's kept us alive."

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