The Central Coast Mariners and the Brisbane Roar have played out a 1-1 draw at Central Coast Stadium, despite the Mariners being the better team on the night.

The Mariners didn’t waste any time continuing their form from Wednesday night’s win and were on the front foot very early on.

Matt Millar opened the scoring in just the third minute of the match after an error from Connor O’Toole.

The attack began when Mario Shabow fed Connor Pain down the left wing, who in turn delivered a cross-field pass which was directed for Jordan Murray, however Connor O’Toole intercepted the pass, before sloppily losing possession to Murray, who played in Millar who slotted it home.

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The horror start to the game for Connor O’Toole continue just three minutes later when another cheap giveaway from the Roar man created another opportunity for Millar, but his shot strayed wide.

The home side continued to dominate the ball and the chances, while the visitors were searching for answers.

It wasn’t until the 30th minute until the Roar began to threaten the Mariners and mount some pressure on the home side.

The pressure continued with Brisbane getting more of the ball, and the Roar were rewarded with a goal just on half-time.

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An Eric Bautheac corner found Luke De Vere at the back post who lost his runner Jake McGing. De Vere’s header was powered on goal and beat Ben Kennedy at the near post.

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The second half began with neither side asserting control on the game, but rather both sides showing plenty of fight and determination to win the ball.

The first real chance of the second half fell to Mario Shabow, who received the ball from Matt Simon. Shabow’s shot from the edge of the box was saved by Jamie Young who reacted well to a deflection.

Although neither side continued to dominate, the Mariners were just edging the Roar with chances created, and in the 68th minute the next big chance fell to Matt Millar. He made his way into the box was couldn’t get a show away. After a goal mouth scramble the ball to Jacob Melling who powered one just over the bar.

Just two minutes later Melling had another shot from similar distance brilliantly saved by Jamie Young down to his left.

Off the consequential corner, the VAR was required to determine whether Daniel Bowles had handled the ball in the penalty area. The referee originally waved the appeals away before being called over to review the incident by the VAR. After two minutes passed, the referee decided to stand-by his original decision, which was probably the right call given how tight it was.

This incident appeared to fire up the home side, and they began to create a lot more of the chances in the second half as Brisbane sat deeper and deeper.

With just ten minutes left in the second half, the Mariners had ten shots to Brisbane’s two, further highlighting the home side’s dominance as Brisbane looked to hold into a draw.

Although the Mariners continued to pressure the Roar defence, they were unable to make a killer blow, and both sides were forced to settle for a point each.

The draw means the Roar stay above the Mariners on the ladder by two points, with a frustrated Central Coast side remaining in last place.

 

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Millar 3’)

Brisbane Roar 1 (De Vere 45’)

 

Central Coast Stadium

Crowd 4, 873

 

Referee: Matthew Conger

Assistant Referees: James Tesoriero & Matthew McOrist

Fourth Official: Stephen Laurie

VAR Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones

 

Central Coast Mariners: Ben KENNEDY (GK), Aiden O’NEILL, Jake MCGING (Jack CLISBY 90+5), Kye ROWLES, Matt MILLAR, Jacob MELLING, Tom HIARIEJ (Michael MCGLINCHEY 76’), Connor PAIN, Mario SHABOW (Andrew HOOLE 76’), Jordan MURRAY, Matt SIMON (C)

Unused subs: Adan PEARCE (GK), Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS

Brisbane Roar: Jamie YOUNG (GK), Daniel BOWLES, Luke DE VERE, Jacob PEPPER, Jack HINGERT, Thomas KRISTENSEN (Joe CALETTI 66’), Matt MCKAY (C), Connor O’TOOLE, Eric BAUTHEAC, HENRIQUE (Tobias MIKKELSEN 63’), Adam TAGGART (Dylan WENZEL_HALLS 85’)

Unused subs: Brendan WHITE (GK), Dane INGHAM

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