Melbourne Victory thrashed Central Coast Mariners 4-1 at AAMI Park in front of 16,508 fans on Sunday evening’s remembrance round, courtesy of strikes from Keisuke Honda, James Troisi, Corey Brown and Josh Hope, and a lone consolation goal from Mario Shabow.

With this victory, the home side has made it their first back to back wins in the 2018/19 A League, previously picking up an away win against Newcastle Jets last week (round three).

Victory maintain their impressive track record against over Central Coast, making it 16 consecutive head to head wins against the Mariners since 2013, all under Kevin Muscat’s watch.

The Gosford side remain winless in four games.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Prior to the match, a sombre procession and a minute of silence took place, commemorating the centenary of World War One.

Central Coast’s Ross McCormack wasted no time getting the game underway, forcing Lawrence Thomas into an acrobatic save in the seventh minute.

Momentum then swayed to the home side, where it would stay for the majority of the match. Honda and Troisi forced decent saves from Ben Kennedy in Central Coast’s goal in the subsequent minutes, with the Japanese national seeing a free kick parried away.

Embed from Getty Images

Leigh Broxham, a late replacement for Jai Ingham who inured himself in the pre-game warm up, had the chance to open his account in the 2018/19 season in the 15th minute. The utility man’s driven shot from the edge of the box went just wide, leaving moans and groans around AAMI Park, in what was seen as the home side’s best chance yet.

Article continues after this

On the half hour mark, Honda struck. Pouncing off a misplaced and under hit Antony Golec pass across the Central Coast back line, the marquee star collected, traveled, and struck a venomously accurate shot into the bottom left corner.

It didn’t take long for Victory to register their second of the evening. Five minutes later, to be exact. Terry Antonis’ cushioned pass into the box located an unmarked Troisi, who oh so comfortably dinked it over Kennedy from close range.

Victory’s third goal courtesy of Corey Brown on the brink of the half time re-emphasised the dominant performance they were enjoying. The new signing took his first goal for Victory well, reacting the quickest to a rebound off Antonis’ blocked effort in the box to tap it into an empty net.

Victory maintained their forward momentum into the second half, hitting the side netting in the 48th minute and restricted Central Coast players into their half for large periods after.

A mad scramble in Victory’s box two minutes off the hour mark saw either an exquisite or unintended flick by debutant Mario Shabow sneak past Thomas, putting Central Coast back in contention for a comeback

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Like all sides who endured a 3-0 first half, Victory’s performance noticeably waned as the half progressed, allowing an outside the box shot from Aiden O’Neil in the 65th minute to send Kevin Muscat into some sort of meltdown on the touchline.

The home side performance’s slowly picked up in the final quarter, with Georg Niedermeier’s header from a curling free kick tipped onto the post by Kennedy.

It was a moment for Josh Hope to savour, as he added his first senior goal and Victory’s fourth in the 94th minute. Receiving Ola Toivonen’s precise pass from the edge of the box, the youngster calmly proceeded to slot the ball past Kennedy, who was unable to get down low fast enough to stop the goal.

Melbourne Victory will next travel to Jubilee Stadium to face Sydney FC on 25th November in Round five of the 2018/19 A League, after a lengthy international break.

Embed from Getty Images

Melbourne Victory 4 (Keisuke Honda 30’, James Troisi 35’, Corey Brown 47′, Joshua Hope 94′)

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Mario Shabow 62′)

AAMI Park

Referee : Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referees : Wilson Brown, Tony Peart
Fourth Official : Lachlan Keevers
Video Assistant Referee : Kristian Griffiths-Jones

Melbourne Victory

20.Lawrence Thomas (GK)
2.Storm Roux
3.Corey Brown
4.Keisuke Honda
6.Leigh Broxham > 16.Joshua Hope (75’)
5.Georg Niedermeier
8.Terry Antonis > 11.Ola Toivonen (80’)
9.Kosta Barbarouses
10.James Troisi > 19.Rahmat Akbari (’89)
14.Thomas Deng
21.Carl Valeri (C)

Unused Subs
1.Matthew Acton (GK)
22.Nicholas Ansell

Central Coast Mariners

1.Ben Kennedy (GK)
3.Jack Clisby
5.Antony Golec
8.Michael McGlinchey > 7. Andrew Hoole (60’)
10.Tommy Oar > 23. Mario Shabow (60’)
11.Connor Pain > 25. Jordan Murray (75’)
13.Aiden O’Neill
15.Kye Rowles
20.Kalifa Cisse (C)
22.Jacob Melling
44.Ross McCormack

Unused subs
12. Adam Pearce (GK)
18. Matt Millar

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

SHARE
A journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.