The Central Coast Mariners are having a season to forget sitting in ninth place having scored the least goals in the competition.

It’s no secret the Mariners lost a huge asset in front of goal when Roy O’Donovan joined the Newcastle Jets ahead of the 2017/18 A-League season and round one was a harsh reminder of their mistake as the Irishmen went on to score a hat-trick in a 5-1 romp.

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Paul Okon added some creative talent in young Olyroo Daniel Da Silva and Andrew Hoole but the Central Coast coach failed to fill the boots of the Jets new prolific goalscorer.

The two out-in-out strikers at the club have had trouble finding consistent goal-scoring form with Blake Powell netting four goals in twelve games and Josh Bingham failing to bag even one so far this season.

Comparatively Powell has matched the exploits of Adelaide United’s promising youngster George Blackwood but falls well short of O’Donovan who has played four games less than the Mariners man.

New signing Petros Skapetis got off to a strong start with the club bagging a goal with his first touch in a home debut but a tally of one goal in 16 games this year dampens hope the former Brisbane Roar man becoming the next O’Donovan.

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While a lack of goalscoring can easily be pinned on the man in the middle but the Mariners struggles also stem from the clubs wide players.

Central Coast have scored some dazzling goals this season as the dynamic attack click in the final third but former Jets recruit Hoole has only managed two goals and three assists, Connor Pain has chipped in a measly goal and two assists and youngster Trent Buhagiar has claimed one goal.

When looking at some of the top performing wingers in the competition the Mariners men really do fail to stand up to their competitors and that is causing headaches week-in-week-out for Okon.

Though it may be a hard ask to demand more from the Mariners wide-men it has been evident that Hoole, Pain and Buhagiar have been hesitant to cut in and drive into the box whereas their competitors above have benefited greatly from being more direct in their attacking play.

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If Okon’s men are looking to break into the top six come finals there is a lot of work to be done in instilling more confidence in his men in the final-third of the pitch.

With new signing Skapetis providing such a promising start to life in Gosford the Mariners must follow suit and play with fire by taking some risks around the box.

Upcoming fixtures against Adelaide and the last-placed Wellington Phoenix provide the Central Coast with a golden opportunity to turn their goal-scoring drought around with a flurry of goals.

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Recent Sports Media graduate from the University of Canberra. Love all things football and can't wait to be part of the growth of the game in Australia. Waiting for the day the FFA come to their senses and hand us an A-League team... but could be waiting a while.