Melbourne Victory had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Newcastle Jets in Monday's A-League encounter at the McDonald Jones Stadium.
Victory had fallen 12 points behind leaders Sydney after losing three of the last four games and knew they could not afford to slip up again if they were to keep the pressure on the league leaders and maintain a healthy gap ahead of third-placed Brisbane Roar.
They endured a difficult first half, though, as Newcastle Jets called Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas into action on more than one occasion.
The away side somewhat improved after the break and Daniel Georgievski was unfortunate not to open the scoring in the 74th minute when he hit the upright after some good work from substitute Jai Ingham.
James Troisi felt he should perhaps have been awarded a penalty in the closing stages of the game, but the referee was having none of it as it ended all square.
Monday's result leaves Melbourne trailing Sydney by 11 points, but seven points ahead of Brisbane, while Newcastle moved into sixth position, level on points with seventh-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.