A 10-man Melbourne City fought from behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Central Coast Mariners at Gosford on Sunday night. The Victorians twice levelled the score in a match that that couldn’t have started worse for the Melbourne side.

City’s Ross McCormack wasted a chance to open the scoring after 10 minutes when a Daniel Arzani cross found him isolated at the back post but the Scotsman could only fire into the keeper.

If McCormack had any blushes over his miss it will be nothing compared to teammate Harrison Delbridge, who was at fault for the Mariners opening goal just minutes later. The City defender crashed a Lachlan Wales free kick off his own cross bar and then impeded his keepers chance of saving Alan Baro’s follow up, which found its way into the top corner.

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Things went from bad to worse for Delbridge who was sent off 10 minutes later for a horror challenge on Blake Powell. The City defender lost control of the ball in his own half and then lunged with his studs up into Powell. Thankfully the Mariners man escaped a serious injury but it was still an early night for Delbridge.

City responded positively after the dismissal and had the lion’s share of possession before equalizing four minutes before the half. Scott Jamieson collected the ball wide before cutting inside and delivering the ball to McCormack who turned and buried a low finish beyond the reach of Ben Kennedy.

It was the home side who came out of the sheds strongest and they were rewarded with goal awkwardly similar to their opener. It was another Wales set piece that was deflected onto the crossbar by Melbourne City only for the rebound to find the head of Jake McGing who finished with his head from a tight angle.

Unfortunately for Paul Okon’s men the one goal advantage wasn’t enough to overcome the persistent Melburnians. The visitors never looked outmatched despite their numerical disadvantage and with just five minutes remaining were back on level terms following a brilliant strike from Marcin Budzinski.

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The Pole’s low strike from distance proved to be the final note in what was a frenetic match that City probably should have won if it wasn’t for the early red card. Paul Okon’s team are now seven matches without a win with the chances of a finals berth starting to slip away.

City remain in third place but are just three points above crosstown rivals Melbourne Victory and a well out of reach of top placed Sydney FC.

Central Coast Mariners
1. Ben Kennedy, 4. Jake McGing, 2. Storm Roux, 15. Alan Baró, 5. Antony Golec, 6. Tom Hiariej, 13. Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, 22. Jacob Melling, 24. Lachlan Wales, 8. Blake Powell, 9. Asdrúbal

 

Substitutes: 20. Adam Pearce, 21. Kye Rowles, 16. Liam Rose,17. Josh Bingham , 25. Peter Kekeris

 

Melbourne City
1. Dean Bouzanis, 4. Harrison Delbridge, 3. Scott Jamieson, 5. Bart Schenkeveld, 22. Michael Jakobsen, 26. Luke Brattan, 37. Nathaniel Atkinson, 6. Osama Malik, 10. Dario Vidosic, 14. Daniel Arzani, 44. Ross McCormack.

 

Substitutes: 18. Eugene Galekovic, 34. Conor Metcalfe, 2. Manny Muscat, 27. Marcin Budzinski 7. Nick Fitzgerald.

 

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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.