Perth Glory die wondering

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The Central Coast Mariners have battled out a gritty come from behind 2-1 win at home to record their first three point result of the season.
Perth Glory came into the clash at Bluetongue looking to capitalise on their recent form and the first half an hour of play saw the side dominate possession and field position early.
The Mariners defence worked hard to shut down the confidence of the Glory, as attack after attack mounted down the mariners left side.

It wasn’t long until the Glory converted their dominance into the first goal of the match which saw Travis Dodd score his first for the Glory who glanced a header across Matt Ryan in the 6th minute to find the net.

The intent for Matt Simon was clear early, as was the Mariners frustration, with the striker earning himself an early yellow card for fouling skipper Jacob Burns.
A positive note for the Mariners start was the presence of red hot Nigerian born striker Bernie Ibini who stepped up in his first A-league start to fuel the Coastie’s attack with damaging runs and deadly through balls down both sides of the park.
Regardless of the Mariners sloppy start, Pedj Boji hit Matt Simon perfectly on the six yard box for the lanky striker to neatly poke away the equaliser in the 27th minute which ended his 8 game goal drought.
The late stages of the second half were all Mariners and stoppage time saw Rostyn Griffiths fly down the centre of the park offloading the ball to Simon who fired away a first time shot only to be denied by the stretching right hand of Vukovic.
Perth Glory went into the sheds at half time absolutely gutted, as Bernie Ibini regathered Vukovic’s save and drilled the ball in the back of the net which put the Mariners 2-1 up on the stroke of half time.
The second half started as the first half ended, in a physical nature and Jacob Burns is not one to shy away from a tug of war and neither is Matt Simon who both featured prominently with early fouls.
Ibini remained dangerous in the second stanza providing more dangerous passages of play.

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Graham Arnold was clearly working overtime on the sideline ordering his side around the park from the first to final minute and the louder he was, the more the Mariners rose to the occasion.

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As the second half progressed the Mariners continually pressured Perth although their backline remained up to the test.
Ian Ferguson looked to add some flare to the Glory’s attack with Andrezinho replacing Travis Dodd in the 65th minute.
Mariners shortly followed suit with the injection of cult hero Mustafa Amini who replaced fellow young gun Ibini receiving a well deserved standing ovation.
Amini’s appearance ran chills through the veins of Perth Glory fans and supporters after flashbacks of his razzle dazzle performance against the club last season.
The humid conditions of the match were beginning to take its toll as fatigue was playing a factor in front of the 6883 fans at Bluetongue Stadium which almost saw Perth Glory equalize through a squandered one on one chance by Adam Hughes in the 74th minute.
End to end action continued as both sides failed to convert half chances partnered with desperate/passionate defence at either end through the likes of Pedj Bojic and Seb Van Den Brink.
Simon departed the pitch just before the 90th minute seeing an introduction for Troy Hearfield whose fresh legs caused trouble early up front.
The game ended 2-1 notching up the Mariners first win of the 2011/12 A-league season and extending Glory’s winless streak at this venue.
Not the flashiest of wins we have seen this season but Graham Arnold and his Mariners were happy to walk away with the crucial three points as Perth are left wondering how they let that one slip.

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The Football Sack Player of the year points:
3 Bernie Ibini
2 Travis Dodd
1 Oliver Bozanic.

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