There was a moment inside the final 10 minutes of Saturday's A-League pre-season match where Sydney FC coach Steve Corica looked across at the opposition bench and shared a wry smile with Newcastle Jets counterpart Ernie Merrick.
Corica had just seen his side spurn a golden chance to break the deadlock at Apex Oval and that frustrating lack of a final product was the tale of the game.
The contest finished at 0-0 but there was no shortage of excitement for the bumper crowd of 3800 at a dust-covered and blustery Dubbo.
The Jets had the best chance of the game but Socceroos forward Dimi Petratos smacked his penalty attempt into the upright early in the first half after Ryan McGowan had brought down Kaine Sheppard.
Milos Ninkovic missed a huge chance for the Sky Blues when he blazed wide when under little pressure on the edge of the area shortly after and the chances continued until the very final minute, when Newcastle's Steven Ugarkovic was played in but could only manage to hit the crossbar.
"We hit the post and the crossbar and a couple went just wide and I thought it was a good performance overall," Jets coach Merrick said.
"We've had a fairly hectic time of it and played Adelaide in Adelaide [in the FFA Cup on Tuesday] but the boys responded and came strong again at the end.
"We're very strong and very fit so we're happy with the hit-out and Sydney played well, too."
The lack of a goals was disappointing for both sets of players and the fans in attendance, but there was a huge amount of positives for both the Jets and Sky Blues.
None was as big as the impact the sides had on the region during the visit west, with the hordes of kids in attendance at the Jets:PLAY clinic on Friday and in the crowd on Saturday showing the popularity of the A-League and football as a whole.
The youngsters streamed on to the field post-game and few players were as popular as Rhyan Grant.
The Sydney FC and Socceroos defender hails from Canowindra originally while he also spent plenty of time in Bathurst before striking it with the Sky Blues.
"Being from a small town, if you got the chance to have a few players come out you'd be over the moon so it's nice to stay out here and have a chat, get some photos and autographs and catch up with some people I haven't seen for awhile.," he said.
"It's nice to get out here."
Grant, playing at centre-back rather than his regular place on the right, was kept busy early in the contest at Apex Oval as the Jets began brightly.
Petratos forced a smart save from Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne from a free-kick inside 10 minutes and on 15 minutes he stepped up to take the penalty.
He beat Redmayne but it struck the right upright and it bounced clear.
Sydney FC, led by star duo Ninkovic and Adam Le Fondre, soon worked their way into the game and the former seemed destined to score on 31 minutes when Luke Ivanovic teed it up after a break down the right.
But Ninkovic put it wide of Lewis Italiano's goal and there was few other clear-cut chances before the break.
The Jets made three substitution at half-time but an unchanged Sydney lineup came out and dominated the second stanza.
Le Fondre continued to create space for himself but the Jets' defence remained strong, while Luke Brattan blazed over the bar following more slick build-up from the Sky Blues.
Petratos shot wide soon after on one of the Jets' forays forward before Sydney FC struck the post during a stint of sustained pressure.
It seemed nothing would find the back of the net and that was proved true when three minutes into injury time Ugarkovic was put through in the box but his shot was always rising and clipped the crossbar on the way out.
"We're getting more and more of our players fit," Merrick said, having seen captain Nigel Boogaard put in a composed performance in his first 45 minutes back from knee surgery in the first half.
Centre-back partner Nikolai Topor-Stanley was also praised by the coach, as was Sheppard and new signing Bobby Burns.
Paulo Retre, getting minutes at right-back for Sydney FC due to Grant's expected national team commitments this season, was one of his side's best and combined with Anthony Caceres to great effect on the right flank while Ninkovic, Brattan, and Brandon O'Neill all pulled the strings from midfield at different times.
"There's definitely positives, it's just about being ruthless in front of goal," Grant said.
"Hopefully we can build on that in the next few weeks before the season starts."