A poor second half from Western Sydney Wanderers cost them a second win of the A-League season after letting a seemingly comfortable lead slip from their grasp away to Newcastle Jets.
The fatigue from a taxing week that included an FFA Cup semi-final and a Sydney derby was to blame after surviving a late onslaught from the high-flying Jets to hold on to a 1-1 draw.
"It's not easy to keep that tempo after a very tough week," caretaker coach Hayden Foxe said. "We were forced to make a couple of subs and put players in some really unnatural positions."
The result could prove more costly down the track after two of Western Sydney's starting midfielders were forced off with injury. Vice-captain Kearyn Baccus and former Aston Villa man Chris Herd were substituted in the second half with what looked like a stomach injury and a head knock respectively. The duo will undergo medical tests during the week.
It compounded a frustrating contest for the Wanderers, who were good value for their 1-0 lead at half-time but collapsed in the second half, particularly in the absence of the two metronomes in the middle of the park.
It was a former Hunter hero who broke the deadlock as Mark Bridge haunted his former club once more. His curling shot from the edge of the area was hit with such power that Jets goalkeeper Jack Duncan could do little but watch the ball sail into the corner of the net for Bridge's eighth goal against his former club.
Bridge was a surprise selection in the No.10 role, picked ahead of in-form Dutch midfielder Roly Bonevacia. However, he justified his place in the starting side with one of his more creative performances for the Wanderers.
The Jets showed few signs of replicating their free-flowing attacking form their first three games of the season and a hopeful Wayne Brown shot from outside the box was their best chance on goal.
Jumpei Kusukami continued his resurgent start to the season, causing havoc down both flanks and came close to doubling the Wanderers lead when he latched on to a sweeping Herd pass by beating the offside trap. However, his first-time chip shot failed to beat Duncan.
The break failed to inject some much-needed life into the contest, nor did it lead to more composure or consistency for either team. The introduction of Bonevacia provided some optimism of that changing, but in replacing defensive midfielder Baccus, it meant his deeper positioning restricted his threat on goal.
A Raul Llorente cross provided a rare chance when Alvaro Cejudo met it inside the box but couldn't gain enough contact to turn the ball into the net in what was the Wanderers' only chance of the second half.
When the Jets eventually found a breakthrough, it mattered little. Andrew Nabbout was played through on goal by Roy O'Donovan and the Newcastle winger made no mistake with his one-on-one, only for his celebrations to be cut short after the linesman ruled a no goal for offside.
The Wanderers' bid to consolidate their lead hit a blow when Herd was forced off with a head injury after a collision with former Western Sydney captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley and the Jets pounced on the ensuing reshuffle immediately.
O'Donovan's powerful shot was spilled by Western Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and Dimitri Petratos punished him with the rebound, slotting it to draw level with the aid of a slight deflection in the 67th minute.
They almost stole the lead with five minutes remaining through substitute Joseph Champness before an injury-time header from O'Donovan but the hosts couldn't find a winner.