Mariners stun Wanderers

The Western Sydney Wanderers winless run at Spotless Stadium has continued after they were handed a 2-0 defeat by Central Coast Mariners.

Both teams came into the clash on the back of a win and that confidence showed for the Wanderers in particular who dominated early.

The first big chance of the match fell to Western Sydney on five minutes when Mitch Nichols, making his 200th A-League appearance, drilled a ball to the back post with Nicolas Martinez doing well to direct an effort on target and Mariners keeper Paul Izzo doing even better to scramble it off the line.

The red and black continued to link up well in the opening 20 minutes but struggled to turn chances into goals as they played without a recognised striker.

Nichols, who was leading the Wanderers line, did find Terry Antonis at the top of the box on 23 minutes but a heavy touch from the midfielder saw his eventual shot from a tough angle loop over the crossbar.

With the Mariners doing well defensively, Western Sydney struggled to carve out chances despite their superior possession with Robert Cornthwaite’s header straight at Izzo following an Antonis corner with 37 minutes played the last meaningful effort of the half.

After the break, the Wanderers continued to push for an opener but it was the Mariners who would go closest first with Roy O’Donovan forcing a fine save out of Vedran Janjetovic after a mazy run forward from Fabio Ferreira on 55 minutes.

After the hour mark, substitute Brendon Santalab then found himself free at the far post only to push his effort wide with Central Coast making the most of his mistake to race away and win a penalty after Jonathan Aspropotamitis committed a clear foul in the box.

Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan stepping up to dispatch the penalty to the right of goal and put his side 1-0 up after 65 minutes.

High on confidence after their goal, the Mariners grabbed another in the 78th minute when O’Donovan did brilliantly to control a ball forward and somehow chip the keeper from a difficult position on the edge of the box.

Desperate to peg a goal back, Wanderers winger Jumpei was denied in the dying minutes after a block from Liam Rose on the goal-line.

The Mariners holding out for the win as they kept their finals hopes alive and moved within two points of sixth placed Western Sydney. 

Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Central Coast Mariners 2 (O’Donovan 65’, 78’)

Spotless Stadium
Attendance: 9,618

Referee: Kris Girffith-Jones
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields and James Tesoriero
Fourth Official: Luke Withell

Western Sydney Wanderers: 3.CLISBY Jack, 6. NICHOLS Mitch (16. SOTIRIO Jaushua 72’), 8. DIMAS, 10. MARTINEZ Nicolas, 12. NEVILLE Scott, 14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei, 15. BACCUS Kearyn (13. PINATARES Bruno 87’), 18. CORNTHWAITE Robert, 20. JANJETOVIC Vedran, 22. ASPROPOTAMITIS Jonathan (YELLOW CARD 64’), 24. ANTONIS Terry (11. SANTALAB Brendon 58’)

Substitutes: 1. TYSON Jerrad, 5. HAMILL Brendan, 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 13. PINATARES Bruno, 16. SOTIRIO Jaushua

Central Coast Mariners: 2.ROUX Storm, 3. GALLOWAY Scott, 4. POSCOLIERO Jacob, 7. FERREIRA Fabio, 8. MONTGOMERY Nick (YELLOW CARD 18’), 9. O’DONOVAN Roy, 11. PAIN Connor (13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena 77’), 12. BUHAGIAR Trent (17. BINGHAM Josh 88’), 16. ROSE Liam, 20. IZZO Paul, 22. MCGING Jake

Substitutes: 1. NECEVSKI Ivan, 5. ASCROFT Harry, 13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena, 14. BERRY Adam, 17. BINGHAM Josh

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A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.