Following a disappointing F3 Derby loss to the Newcastle Jets, Central Coast Mariners coach Mike Mulvey admits his team is letting themselves down in key moments.

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Gosford, Mulvey’s men led their local rivals at half-time and appeared to be the better side. That was until the Jets came out strong in the second-half, scoring two goals in 16 minutes to claim all-three points.

It is a trend that has occurred regularly throughout the season, with the club conceding goals in crucial fashion.

The Mariners have led in three of their nine matches so far, but are walking away without victories.

“In key moments we were found out,” said Mulvey.

“Maybe we just took the eye off the ball, we were not as focused in that moment.

“In the game you’ve got 90 minutes of the game, and 60 minutes where the ball is in play – generally. In those moments when the ball isn’t in play, it’s time to re-focus. In those key moments we’re not re-focusing and we’re not ready.

“The corner for example. It’s just key moments in the game that’s cost us”.

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It’s a dangerous trend for the Mariners, who for years now have struggled with leaky defences in game-changing moments. The Mariners have already conceded 20 goals in just nine matches, and will be keen not to repeat history when they conceded 70 goals in 27 matches during the 2015/16 season.

The good news is the team isn’t playing overwhelmingly bad – in fact the Mariners have looked better than their opponents in games this season. They just aren’t getting the results, and consequentially they still sit on the bottom of the ladder winless with two points.

“If we look at the table, which everybody has got the right to do – they say hapless Mariners, two points” said Mulvey.

“We’re not writing off the season. If we held on to win that game today, we’re one point away from Brisbane.

“It is a cruel game at times and we were dealt a cruel blow, and I’m not blaming anybody else but ourselves, we’ll wear it.

“The players are man enough to wear it, we’ve got to fix it, and that’s the end of the story”.

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Feature image credit: Central Coast Mariners

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Football writer and radio presenter. Loves everything football (well, except Italian's diving since '06).