One of the saves of the A-League season from goalkeeper Mark Birighitti ensured Newcastle deservedly shared the points in a 0-0 draw with Central Coast at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.
A full stretch Birighitti pushed wide a brilliant Michael McGlinchey shot from close range after he had beaten four players in the 40th minute.
There was a frantic end to the 29th edition of the F3 derby; Mariner Daniel McBreen hit the side netting in the 78th minute and the Jets came close in the 85th minute when Mariner Pedj Bojic was forced to clear off his line.
Coach Graham Arnold, watching from the stands as punishment for his dismissal from the sideline the previous week, would have been relieved to escape with a point after a trying week in which he lost Bernie Ibini to a trial at Club Brugge and young gun Tomas Rogic to Celtic.
Central Coast extended their lead at the top of the ladder to three points, sitting on 35 points to Adelaide's 32 after the Reds lost to Melbourne Heart on Friday.
In persistent rain before a crowd of 11,249 the Mariners, eager to make up from their poor first half showing against Wellington last week, were upbeat early and enjoyed the better of proceedings without creating any genuine chances.
The Jets began to wrest control as the half progressed but were also unable to capitalise.
Former England striker Emile Heskey lacked touch when he could only lightly head the ball on in front of goal twice midway through the half and was replaced by James Virgili in the 60th minute.
Mariners assistant coach Phil Moss, in charge for the night, said he was happy with his team's effort.
"It was a scrap, not the prettiest game of football but our determination to keep a clean sheet was fantastic," he said.
Newcastle boss Gary van Egmond was also pleased by the Jets' performance against the ladder leaders.
"To come to Gosford and play the team coming first and to come away with a point is great," he said.
"I feel we could have got a goal or two early in the second half. We are buoyed by this and will take confidence from that performance."