Mariners lose third straight at home game

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The Central Coast Mariners have conceded their third loss in a row at home, going down 2-0 to Adelaide United.

The Mariners quite literally lost the game in the space of two minutes; both goals conceded in quick succession at the bottom end of the first half, courtesy of Pablo Sanchez.

However, it’s not the first time the Mariners have lost to Adelaide in recent weeks, having been defeated 3-2 last week in the FFA Cup.

They would have been hoping for revenge today, but alas, in front of 6,404 of their home fans, they just couldn’t do it.

The first half started off in fairly unspectacular form. The play, like the weather, was sporadic and looked like it might be threatening disaster in fits and bursts.

Patches of heavy rain and hurricane winds resulted in neither team looking fully comfortable on the ball, but the players showed some resilience in the face of adversity.

Sanchez had his first look at the goal in the 17th minute when he almost made it 1-0, but Josh Rose managed to save the Mariners by getting his bod between the ball and back of the net.

The best chance for the Mariners came in the 22nd minute from Mitchell Duke after a ripper of a run from Michael Neill. Duke, who incidentally holds the record for the most shots on goal this A-League season, didn’t manage to slip his shot past Adelaide custodian, Eugene Galekovic.

A nasty tackle courtesy of Adelaide’s Osaka Malick against Nick Fitzgerald almost resulted in a goal for the Mariners in the 36th minute, but Galekovic managed to tip Matt Sims’ penalty over the net.

Then, the dreaded goals: they came in the 39th and 42nd minutes, with the ball pommelled forward by Fabio Ferreira and Tarek Elrich respectively, and slotted past Liam Reddy by Sanchez.

The second goal was a result of some fairly abysmal defending, with the exception of Neill who managed to deflect Sanchez’s first attempt at goal, but not his second.

Phil Moss, who started off the game a good-natured bugger, having a laugh with the crowd when his brolly got blown inside out, looked ready to kill.

“I thought first 40 minutes we gave as good as we got; but then there were two sloppy minutes of defending and two inexcusable goals,” Moss said after the game.

The second half brought a weather change, and a few changes to the starting eleven. Isaka Cernak replaced Duke, and Richard Vernes came on for Matt Sim.

In the conspicuous absence of Malick Mane, the Hungarian seems to have finally been given a chance to make an impact on the Mariners goal tally. Despite having contributed minimally thus far, Vernes managed a neat little run in the 60th minute, but was taken out by the Reds’ defense.

Moss made yet another change in the 64th minute, deciding to replace captain John Hutchinson with Glen Trifiro. The Mariners veteran wasn’t impressed with Moss’s call, going straight down the tunnel to apparently “have a shower”.

“No look its not [a good look], but emotions were running high. Hutch is a ten year server of this club, and I love that about Hutch that he’s emotional and cares, but it wasn’t the time or the place,” Moss said after the game.

Despite Hutchinson being clearly unhappy with the call, Trifiro immediately made an impact, almost scoring in the 67th minute.

Things went from bad to worse for the Mariners, when replacement-captain Nick Montgomery was booked his second yellow card, and was subsequently sent off in the 70th minute. Like his captain before him, it was straight down the tunnel to have a shower.

The remaining Mariners didn’t give up, though. Anthony Caceres had a scramble in front of goal, but was not lucky enough to finish it off. Even Zac Anderson, who consistently underwhelms me, mustered up the energy to go for a run up the field from centre-back.

Late chances were created by Caceres and Fitzgerald, but, a man down and two-goals in arrears, the Mariners weren’t able to secure a goal at all.

Special mentions must be made for goal man Liam Reddy who quite literally risked everything, (leaving the goal entirely unmanned) to assist in a Mariners penalty, only to have to frantically run back down the pitch. He did stop a third goal, though.

Despite some brave defending, this marks the Mariners third loss at home, which will undoubtedly be a hard pill to swallow for Moss and the boys.

“I know there’s a bunch of boys in there that are hurting… it’s been a hard slog over the past two weeks,” Moss said.

Next week the Mariners face #F3Derby rivals Newcastle Jets away, who will undoubtedly be looking for pay-back after losing to the Mariners in the first game of the season.

“I can guarantee you that there will be fireworks next weekend,” Moss said.

Central Coast Mariners starting XI: 2. Storm Roux 3. Joshua Rose 5. Zac Anderson 7. John Hutchinson (C) 8. Nick Montgomery 9.Mitchell Duke 10. Anthony Caceres 11. Nick Fitzgerald 12. Liam Reddy (GK) 15. Matthew Sim 21. Michael Neill

Central Coast Mariners substitutions: 1. Matthew Nash (GK) 17. Richard Vernes 18. Glen Trifiro 23. Isaka Cernak 25. Eddy Bosnar

Adelaide United starting XI: 1.Eugene Galekovic (GK) 2. Michael Marrone 3. Nigel Boogaard 5. Osama Malick 7. Pablo Sanchez 8. Isaias 9. Sergio Cirio 16. Craig Goodwin 18. James Jeggo 21. Tarek Elrich 22. Fabio Ferreira

Adelaide United substitutions: 4. Dylan McGowan 14.Cameron Watson 17. Awer Mabil 24. Bruce Kamau 30. John Hall (GK)

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