Newcastle missed the chance to move just one win outside the A-League top six with a 0-0 draw against Adelaide United at McDonald Jones Stadium.
With sixth-placed Wellington losing on Saturday to Sydney 1-0, seventh-placed Newcastle had the chance to close the gap to three points with seven rounds remaining but they offered little in attack on Sunday after a hectic schedule of games.
Playing their fourth match in 12 days, the Jets were backing up from Tuesday night’s 4-1 loss to Kashima Antlers which ended their Asian Champions League run in Japan.
Without key attacking weapon Ronny Vargas (hamstring), Newcastle looked flat against the fourth-placed Reds, who went closest to scoring when Craig Goodwin managed to get in behind the Jets’ defence in the 42nd minute but powered his shot into the crossbar.
The Jets forced a save from Paul Izzo in the 67th minute when substitute Joey Champness’ miscued volley almost lobbed in under the bar.
Neither side, though, put the opposing goalkeeper under regular pressure in a game of mainly half chances.
Newcastle move to 23 points, five short of the top six, while Adelaide are on 31.