The Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory played out a 1-1 draw at Central Coast Stadium on Sunday.

Both teams came into the game desperate for their first win of the season but were forced to settle with a point in a game where both teams had enough chances to win.

It was almost a horror start for the Mariners when Mark Milligan wasted a wonderful chance in the opening minute. Leroy George had put the midfielder through on goal but he was denied by keeper Thomas Glover after a tepid effort.

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Minutes later it was Victory who had their hearts in their throat when Lawrence Thomas lost the ball in his own box and gifted the Mariners with a golden chance. Thomas recovered and crisis was averted but it was a nervy start for both sides.

The Mariners threatened next when Andrew Hoole drilled a low cross that looked certain to be tapped in by Connor Pain. However, Jason Geria who got their first and cleared to save the visitors.

It was Thomas Deng who came closest to opening the scoring midway through the first half. The Victory man rose well to meet a Leroy George corner but his header came crashing back off the upright.

Deng landed awkwardly on Storm Roux who came up limping and would receive treatment before being substituted at half time.

The deadlock was broken just before the hour mark by a blistering effort from Pain. The ex-Victory man picked up the ball wide and weaved a his way across the top of the box before blasting his shot into the top corner.

That moment of magic was answered with another after Antony Golec made a clumsy challenge on James Troisi and gave away a free kick on the edge of the box. Up stepped George who curled his left-footed effort into the top corner and out of the reach of Glover’s desperate hands.

The match livened up after that and the Mariners were unlucky not to go ahead midway through the half after a curling effort by again by Pain struck the corner of the woodwork.

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Central Coast substitute Kwabena Appiah was the next player to ring the goal frame. The winger was played in behind the Victory defence and rounded the goalkeeper only for his effort to strike the upright.

The home team had the better of the second half and will feel like they should have gone on to win it on a number of occasions. As it stood it was honours even with both teams still winless at the bottom of the A-League.

Central Coast Mariners: 1 (Pain 58)
Melbourne Victory: 1 (George 65)

Central Coast Mariners
2. ROUX Storm (4. MCGING Jake 45), 3. ROSE Joshua, 5. GOLEC Antony, 6. HIARIEJ Tom, 7. HOOLE Andrew, 9. ASDRUBA (17. BINGHAM Joshua 90)L, 10. DE SILVA Daniel, 11. PAIN Connor (13. APPIAH-KUBI Kwabena 75), 15. BARO Alan (C), 18. GLOVER Thomas (GK), 23. BRAMA Wout.

Substitutes: 16. ROSE Liam, PEARCE Adam (GK)

Melbourne Victory
2. GERIA Jason, 4. WILLIAMS Rhys, 5. MILLIGAN Mark, 6. BROXHAM Leigh, 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta, 11. AUSTIN Mitchell (23. INGHAM Jai 70), 10. TROISI James, 14. DENG Thomas, 17. DONACHIE James, 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 21. VALERI Carl (C) (18. SANCHEZ Matias, 23 84), 41. GEORGE Leroy (31.THEOHAROUS Christian 80)

Substitutes: 1. ACTION Matthew (GK), 22. NIGRO Stefan

 

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistant Referees: James Tesoriero & Andrej Giev

Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

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Football fan, writer, and post-grad journalism student at the University of Technology Sydney. Joined the team in 2017 to cover Sydney FC and the Central Coast Mariners.