Mariners go home singing in the rain

-

Patrick Zwaanswijk was the hero for the Central Coast Mariners as they left it late to claim a thrilling 3-2 victory over a valiant North Queensland Fury at a rain soaked Bluetongue Stadium tonight.

The 6,656 strong home crowd had to wait until the 92nd minute for the Mariners to seal the deserved win, in a match that paid homage to the 90 minutes, 90 emotions A-League ad of seasons gone by.

Zwaanswijk’s first goal for the club sent the Mariner’s fans into raptures at full time, the win keeping the team’s unbeaten home record intact and moving them into second spot on the Hyundai A-League table.

The Mariners started the match sprightly, moving the ball well and building pressure on a sluggish looking Fury side playing their third game in seven days.

Patricio Perez, Daniel McBreen, Matt Simon and Michael McGlinchey combined well to provide the Mariner’s tempo and penetration in the form of some slick wall passes, causing headaches for Fury’s defence.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play when Simon Story’s 12th minute deflected drive gave the Fury a one goal advantage in the most snatch and grab of styles.

The Mariners continued to play some of their best football of the season and relentlessly peppered the Fury goal.

The equaliser came for the home side two minutes into the second half when Simon scored from close range after Perez’s initial effort was blocked by Fury custodian, Justin Pasfield.

The Mariners took a 55th minute lead when Perez dispatched a penalty awarded to McBreen after he was rugby tackled in the box by Fury substitute, Brett Studman.

McBreen had a Jekyll and Hyde night for the Mariners, his own goal gifting the Fury an equaliser and a chance at taking all three points with 15 minutes left in the match.

Fury refused to give in despite the sending off of Dyron Daal in the 79th minute for a second yellow for what appeared to be dissent.

The Mariners had keeper Mathew Ryan to thank after two reflex saves prevented Chris Payne from scoring for the Fury late in the match.

The Mariners claimed victory when Zwaanswijk did well to get in front of Fury’s Isaka Cernak to power home a header from a sublime Michael McGlinchey cross.

The Dutchman’s winner appeared to save referee Kurt Ams’ blushes after he failed to award an obvious penalty to Patricio Perez earlier, which would have certainly killed off any chances of a Fury fight back.

The Fury showed plenty of character in their performance though it will be little consolation, the loss leaving them rooted in second last at the foot of the table.

The Mariners played the better football on balance and ran out worthy winners, even if only by a small margin.

At the sound of the final whistle, Mariner’s fans poured onto the pitch to celebrate in the rain, clearly proud of their team’s performance in what was one of the most entertaining and dramatic matches of the season.

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Latest Articles

Macarthur FC a changed side for second Sydney test

Macarthur FC coach Ante Milicic will be looking for the Bulls’ first win against their crosstown rivals Sydney FC on Sunday at Jubilee Stadium. Milicic...

‘Here to win’: Robinson set on delivering Championship to Wanderers

Nine seasons into their A-League history, the Western Sydney Wanderers are still without a Championship – but coach Carl Robinson is determined to change...