Melbourne Victory’s frustrations at Bluetongue Stadium have continued as they were held to a scoreless draw despite dominating their round eight A-League match against the Central Coast Mariners.
In front of a crowd of 5,787 people on Friday night, the Victory regularly picked off a flat-footed Mariners coming out of defence but blew chance after chance.
Melbourne were trying to turn the tables on the defending champions, who knocked them out of the semi-finals 1-0 last season and won their previous encounter in Gosford 6-2.
Making the loss even more painful for the visitors was a disallowed goal from Mitch Nichols in the 14th minute for offside despite replays casting doubt on the call.
Second-half substitute Daniel McBreen hit the back of the net in the 89th minute for the Mariners but he was also called offside, apparently correctly.
Socceroo Archie Thompson squandered three opportunities for the Victory in front of goal in the opening 12 minutes of the second half.
Michael McGlinchey had a rare chance for the Mariners in the 65th minute but his volleyed shot was blocked by Jason Geria.
Guilherme Finkler had another excellent chance for the Victory in the 80th minute but Liam Reddy made a great diving save for the hosts.
Victory also dominated the first half and were unlucky not to go at least one goal ahead by half-time.
Kosta Barbarouses put James Troisi away on goal in the 12th minute but his first touch eluded him and the chance went begging.
Barbarouses was at it again two minutes later when his pass gave Mitch Nichols the one-on-one chance with Reddy.
Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe was called into action in the 18th minute to deny a Marcos Flores header but the rest of the first-half chances were at the other end.
Troisi found space close to goal in the 34th minute but a desperate lunge from Brent Griffiths blocked the shot.
Victory skipper Mark Milligan then had two great chances to end the half, putting a shot just wide in the 42nd minute and hitting the crossbar from a similar position in injury time.
The Mariners farewelled departing coach Graham Arnold and general manager and former majority owner Peter Turnbull in a presentation at half-time.
The draw lifts sixth-placed Central Coast to 10 points and third-placed Victory to 13.