Toss your phone away for a moment and have a good hard think about what went down at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday afternoon when the Mariners faced reigning champions Melbourne Victory. Yep, you’re right.

It wasn’t a fight so much as a wind-blown slaughter of the home side who ultimately went down 2-0, topping their fresh record of 24 straight games without a cleansheet and their fifth consecutive loss. Strewth.

Even the much anticipated return of prodigal son Roy O’Donovan couldn’t stop the Mariners from falling victim to the domination and foolhardy defense of the fifth placed Victory who are stopping at nothing to keep their place in the top six.

The opening goal was handed to Besart Berisha in the twelfth minute off a glorious cross from Jai Ingham who managed two assists, a mishit and a yellow card trifecta in his A-League starting debut.

The Mariners responded with some well-executed play that put acting captain Fabio Ferreira within centimetres of an open goal before an offside flag to Mitch Austin halted the advance. Austin’s lower back troubles saw him head to the sheds early, replaced by rookie Bradley McDonald.

Playing their fifth game in 17 days, any talk of potential fatigue for Melbourne after a midweek match against Osaka in Japan proved to be just that. The visitors showed consistent energy and attacking flair usually reminiscent of their opponents, meaning they boasted the lead at half time 1-0.

Three minutes into the second half the statistics looked much worse for the Mariners who went down to 10 men after Mickey Neill copped his second yellow card of the match, making him the club’s seventh player red-carded this season and the fourth in seven matches.

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Berisha missed an opportunity to score a second when his promising chop and turn maneouvour saw the ball go way over the bar. Perhaps racking up another point against them would have eased the frustration of some more controversial refereeing decisions for the Mariners. Tony Walmsley was noticeably flustered.

Though the home side were barely hanging on, Victory were also having a hard time thanks to a triple save from Mariners goalie Paul Izzo. In the final minute of normal time the visitors found their chance, Ingham delivering his second assist for Fahid Ben Khalfallah who put the game to bed and the Mariners out of their misery.

The final whistle approached with the stark fact that Victory goalie Daniel Vukovic hadn’t had to make a save all match. Predictable result? You betcha.

CENTRAL COAST MARINERS:1. IZZO, Paul (GK), 3. ROSE, Joshua 5. ASCROFT, Harry 6. AUSTIN, Mitchell 7. FERREIRA, Fabio 9. O’DONOVAN Roy 10. GARCIA, Luis 16. ROSE, Liam 21. NEILL, Michael 22. MCGING, Jake 23. USKOK, Tomislav.

MELBOURNE VICTORY: 1. VUKOVIC, Daniel (GK), 2. GERIA, Jason 3. GALLOWAY, Scott 6. BROXHAM, Leigh(C), 7. FINKLER, Guilherme 8. BERISHA, Besart 14. BEN-KHAFALLAH, Fahid 16. MAHAZI, Rashid 17. DEL PIERRE, Matthieu 23. INGHAM, Jai 24. DENG, Thomas.

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A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.