Round 15 got underway with a triple-header across three states on Saturday night beginning at Hunter Stadium with Newcastle and Adelaide playing out a scoreless draw.
It was then onto AAMI Stadium where another terrific crowd of 18,609 turned out to watch Marcos Flores and Marco Rojas score either side of half-time to give the Melbourne Victory a solid 2-0 win over the travelling Wellington Phoenix.
The triple-header then came to an end at Perth's nib Stadium with Shane Smeltz rediscovering some goal scoring form for the Perth Glory, but Sydney FC's veterans Allesandro Del Piero, Brett Emerton and Jason Culina saw the Sky Blues come away with a 2-2 draw.
In Newcastle, the Jets finally got their first clean sheet of the season to offer some comfort, but the home side was still left disappointed not to score at home to Adelaide United.
The Jets did have the better chances of the game, but were hamstrung in the season half after marquee player Emile Heskey went off with a minor quadriceps injury. The Reds hung in there, though, largely thanks to outstanding goalkeeping from Eugene Galekovic.
Jets veteran Ruben Zadkovich was captain for the night and while happy enough to record a clean sheet, would have liked a goal to go with it in their favour.
"I think today we showed a lot of resolve and it was our first clean sheet, which is something we're proud of," Zadkovich said.
"We were a bit unlucky not to score in the first half and go ahead because I think we dominated the first half, but we are quite happy with the draw in the end. It was a shame to lose big Em at half-time and he was a bit of a loss, but I thought the boys that came in for him did really well."
Adelaide goalkeeper Galekovic continued his terrific form to ensure the Reds didn’t concede a goal, but will be happy to return home and start preparing to host the Perth Glory next week.
"It probably deserved a point for each team. We had a few early chances and they came back in the second half, and created a few as well. We'll take a point," Galekovic said.
"It was tough today. Our last two training sessions in Adelaide were in 45 degrees and playing in the middle of the day in 35 degrees is a hard slog, but we got through it and got a point. We'll go back to Adelaide now and worry about the next game."
It was then a dominant display by Melbourne Victory at home to Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park as the Victory ensures they continue to put pressure on Adelaide United in second spot.
Flores and Rojas secured the victory for Melbourne with goals just either side of the half-time break, but the Phoenix did make them work hard for the advantage in the first 40 minutes.
Eventually Flores broke the deadlock 43 minutes after a cross from Rojas, and then in the 53rd minute Rojas was gifted a tap-in goal off a rebounded shot off the crossbar from an Adrian Leijer shot.
Victory coach Ange Postecoglou praised his players' character after they emerged from the Christmas-New Year period with nine of a possible 12 points.
"For all the clubs, this period is a massive period of football. You're travelling, you're playing games one after the other in trying conditions," Postecoglou said.
"The fact we've come through this four-game period with three wins, it's a massive testament to the work the players have done, but also their character."
It was another tough loss away from Wellington to take for the Phoenix with the New Zealand side now stuck in eighth position with just 16 points from 15 games this season.
Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert, whose 152nd match in charge surpassed the A-League record, felt his side had been excellent for most of the first half but missed the experience of Muscat and injured striker Paul Ifill when things got tough.
"The depth from our perspective is limited from an experience point of view," Herbert said.
"Jeremy (Brockie) is having a good season for us. But we need more people (scoring goals) with that. Out of midfield we've been a bit short."
Then in Perth, the Glory controlled the majority of the contest against Sydney FC but despite two goals from Smeltz never put the visitors away.
Smeltz broke his goal drought with goals in the 39th and 80th minutes, but on both occasions the Sky Blues answered in impressive fashion.
Pressure has been mounting on Smeltz after he had just two goals in 10 games this season coming into the round following his 17 goals in 2011-12, but he did well on Saturday night with two good goals to give him 70 now in the A-League from 111 appearances.
Sydney FC went into half-time having barely had a chance, but that all changed early in the second and in the 63rd minute, Del Piero and Emerton worked well together to set up Culina for his first A-League goal since the 2010-11 season with Gold Coast United.
Smeltz answered back for the Glory in the 80th minute, but then a goalkeeping mishap from Glory's Danny Vukovic handing Sydney's Seb Ryall a chance to equalise two minutes later and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Afterwards, Sydney FC coach Frank Farina was happy enough to come away with the draw.
"I thought we stepped up in the second half and our attitude was good especially after going a goal down. They got back out in the second half and took the game to Perth. Whether that's what forced them to lose their shape I don’t know, but I was just pleased with our performance in that second half," Farina said.
"I think any time you come to Perth you will most probably be happy with a guaranteed point before the game. I will be honest and the way the match panned out I think that most probably a draw was a fair result.
"They were better in the first half and we were better in the second, and both teams had some good chances so 2-2 was a fair result. I'm happy with the point although it doesn’t really help us too much."
Glory coach Ian Ferguson felt like he had lost a game more than drawn it afterwards given his side's dominance for much of the night.
"It feels as though it's a loss because we actually got the lead back and got ourselves into a great position, and then you all saw what happened. It's unfortunate for Danny. He has been great for us this season and has pulled off some fantastic saves, but that's what happens," Ferguson said.
"I thought our first half was good, but in the second half we lost our shape and discipline a little bit, and it cost us dearly. They were hitting us on the counterattack four or five times, and we were lucky we were let off the hook a little bit.
"It was down to our own fault because we were actually in good areas having good opportunities, yet they were hitting us on the counterattack when we lost our shape and discipline in the middle of the park."