Moreton Bay United returned to the top of the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland standings despite being held to a 0-0 draw by FNQ Heat at Wolter Park on Saturday night.
The hosts spurned several chances to claim the three points – including an injury time penalty miss from striker Royce Brownlie – however, the result proved enough to edge Jets ahead of Brisbane Strikers on goal difference in the Premiership race.
The draw also keeps Heat in the hunt for the top four Finals Series, however the Cairns-based club now fall five points behind fourth placed Redlands United with only three games remaining.
With plenty on the line for both sides, the contest proved tight from start to finish.
Heat’s Jamie Carroll fashioned the first clear-cut chance of the night inside the quarter hour, however shanked his shot wide of the target.
Shortly after Brownlie benefitted from a clever flick-on from Stephen Green only to see his effort saved by onrushing Heat goalkeeper Nicholas Mooney.
Jets gained the upper hand midway through the half but were unable to make the most of chances to Jordan Farina and Matthew Capello.
However, Heat saw the best chances of the half only for Jets goalkeeper Luke Borean to deliver a pair of sharp saves to keep out efforts from Joshua Pin.
The goalkeepers continued to prove up to task to keep scores level at the break – Mooney denying Charles Mendy and Borean saving from Alex Smith.
Jets increasingly took control of the match in the second half but struggled to put their chances away until the end.
Brownlie failed to find the target with a pair of chances either side of the hour, bookending a shot into the side netting from Capello.
Liam Previtera benefitted from a cutting through-ball with just over a quarter hour remaining but didn’t trouble Mooney with an angled attempt.
Heat weren’t without possession but failed to fashion a genuine scoring chance in the final stages of the match before Jets dramatically missed the chance to snatch the win in the final minute of time added.
Brownlie ending a frustarting night in front of goal for Jets by skewing his penalty wide of the left post.
That miss ensured a third clean sheet in the past four outings for Heat goalkeeper Mooney, all recorded away from home.
Speaking post-match, Jets coach Adam Piddick said he wasn’t happy with the result but couldn’t fault his players’ performance.
“It’s a hard feeling where you should’ve won the game with the last kick with a penalty, but obviously players don’t mean to miss penalties,” Piddick said philosophically.
Heat coach Martin Docherty said his defenders did well to limit the chances to PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland all-time leading goalscorer Brownlie.
“I know how strong Adam sets the team up and obviously Royce is the main focal point – so we had to make sure we minimised his opportunities,” Docherty said.
Moreton Bay United FC 0
FNQ FC Heat 0