Mariners hammer Sydney early

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Central Coast Mariners have thumped a woeful Sydney FC in Gosford tonight, scoring after just seconds in both halves on their way to a 4-0 win.

The Central Coast have been sliding down the table in recent weeks but Adam Kwasnik set them on their way after just 29 seconds when he side-footed home at the far post.

Sydney kicked off but soon lost possession. Amini broke forward and rolled the ball wide to Matt Simon. Simon’s ball was perfectly weighted to the far post and an unmarked Kwasnik kept his concentration to get his side off to the best possible start.

The Gosford crowd were still reliving the goal when they had another to cheer.

Central Coast’s passing was sharp from the outset and they worked fullback Josh Rose into a good position on the left. His whipped near post ball looked comfortable for Sydney keeper Necevski but he spilled it on the half-volley under pressure from Matt Simon. Simon knew little about it but he gratefully bundled it over the line with his shin regardless.

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Two nil before the five minute mark and Sydney were shell-shocked.

Kwasnik looked in the mood and he warmed the palms of Necevski with a great take on the volley in the twentieth minute. Kwasnik wouldn’t have to wait much longer for his second.

The Sydney back four were in tatters after just twenty minutes and two minutes later a terrible error from Hayden Foxe saw Kwasnik make it three. It was Matt Simon and Kwasnik combining again, but the Sydney defence was again badly at fault. Foxe’s attempted clearance of Simon’s cross hit his standing leg and Kwasnik pounced from close range for the simplest of finishes.

Kwasnik was inches from a first half hattrick as he popped up between Foxe and Ryall but his finish skipped just wide as he stretched for it.

Sydney went to the break bewildered, having been badly outplayed by a terrific Mariners side.

Any comfort gained from Sydney’s half time pep talk was gone within seconds of the second half beginning.

Matt Simon burst down the left hand side and tried to find his strike partner arriving in the box. The retreating Sydney back four were forced to defend facing their own goal and Seb Ryall could only turn Simon’s ball past his own keeper with just 17 seconds gone in the second half.

Sydney finally created some chances in the last twenty as the game died somewhat. Bridge drove just wide of Ryan’s right hand post in the 72nd minute after substitute Danning cut inside and set up the strike. Young midfielder Atonis whipped a good shot just wide five minutes later, and then Petratos hammered a volley against the crossbar soon after.

You somehow knew it wouldn’t be Sydney’s night and the travelling supporters – who were excellent all night – wouldn’t get their goal to celebrate.

The Mariners, meanwhile, were fantastic value for their four goal win. Their season back on track, they now climb to third.

Sydney have looked to be getting their season back on track in recent weeks, but their renaissance was rudely halted tonight and deservedly so. They were unable to keep the ball when in possession and shambolic when out of it.

It won’t get any easier for Lavitska’s side: next week, Brisbane.

*Photo credit Chris Voss

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