Wanderers romp to victory over Central Coast Mariners

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The Western Sydney Wanderers have almost guaranteed a home final after they cruised to an easy home victory over the Central Coast Mariners last night.

The Wanderers, playing their last home game of the regular season and their last for some time at Pirtek Stadium, started the game well in control with the Mariners happy to sit back and absorb pressure.

However that lasted for just seven minutes as Romeo Castelen fired home with an excellent strike from outside the area leaving the young Mariners keeper Adam Pearce with no chance.

The Wanderers continued to apply the pressure but were unable to make the extra possession count as the Central Coast worked their way into the game.

The Mariners were rewarded for the efforts with Luis Garcia meeting a Mitchell Austin cross in the 22nd minute. The Central Coast’s marquee man was left totally unmarked allowing him to cushion his diving header past a helpless Andrew Redmayne.

The Mariners, now level at 1-1, were content to sit back and defend but this only invited more pressure and they were almost undone by a brilliant turn from Mitch Nichols. The Western Sydney midfielder was unable to set himself quick enough and the covering defender made a great last ditch tackle to prevent a second goal.

Central Coast wouldn’t receive a moments rest as the Wanderers soon found their second. Super sub Brendon Santalab, in the starting line up tonight, tapped home the rebound from a Romeo Castelen shot.

The game petered out towards the end of the half and the Wanderers headed to the sheds with a 2-1 lead.

The second half started like the first with the Wanderers asserting control again and it didn’t take long for them to grab their third goal of the evening, Brendon Santalab getting a double after easily guiding his header home on the hour mark.

At 3-1 the game became more open but the intensity dropped from both sides and neither team looked like scoring until Mitch Nichols fired in from close range in the 82nd minute.

Excellent work in the build up from Mark Bridge, who beat his man twice before delivering a deadly cross, gave the Western Sydney Wanderers a 4-1 scoreline that reflected their performance.

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