Another second-half slumber costs Wanderers

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Western Sydney Wanderers have put in consecutive slumbering second-half performances, this week allowing the Mariners a point.

Having scored within 82 seconds of kick-off, the Red and Black put in a fine first half before handing the Central Coast Mariners a goal in the 61st minute and struggling throughout the second period.

With an at times mouth-watering attack, the Wanderers inability to finish chances yet again cost them against the Mariners.

“We had numerous opportunities and unfortunately we couldn’t put the game to bed,” Tony Popovic said post-game.

“It’s shame for the players, we aren’t creating half chances, we’re creating clear cut openings and in the end it could have gone either way.”

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One player who will hopefully convert some of these chances is 19 year-old Lachlan Scott who made his A-League debut off the bench.

“It was very special to get on the field tonight. Bit nervous to start with but got over it after a few touches,” Scott said.

“Hopefully I’ll get a few more minutes this season and a few goals.”

Though throwing away what seemed to be two certain victories in consecutive weeks, Popovic isn’t too concerned about his side.

“We’re on the right track but the points aren’t matching it. We’ve gone three games without a defeat and it’s a fantastic reaction when you think of losing 4-0 at home to start,” he said.

A poor back pass from Robert Cornwthwaite handed the Mariners their equaliser; a goal Popovic believed changed the shape of the game.

“We conceded a goal out of nothing. I don’t know that it fell apart but once they scored the game changed a little bit,” he said.

“We have to do better to make sure teams can’t get back into games.”

Mariners coach Paul Okon was satisfied with his team’s spirit and feels his side deserved the goal and the point.

“We forced that goal through our enthusiasm, our hunger, our press. In the end we’re more than worthy of a point,” Okon said.

Though realistic about their sluggish start, Okon wasn’t afraid to back the quality of his side.

“If anyone thought we were going to win 27 A-League games coming from where we were I think they’d be nuts. Adelaide for me is the best football team in the competition, after us,” he added.

Arguably fortunate to still be in goals for the Wanderers after a costly mistake last week, Andrew Redmayne was caught out by Cornthwaite’s back pass for the Mariners goal.

While admitting his teammate made a mistake, Redmayne believes confidence for the team and himself is key to improving.

“You’ve always got to be confident, mistakes happen like tonight again, we’ve just got to eliminate those mistakes and focus on our game,” he said.

Up against what has so far been a ruthless Perth Glory side next week in Western Australia, Western Sydney really do need to leave their slumbering second-half performances at home.

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Joshua Thomas
A football fanatic and journalism student who won't leave you wondering about any Wanderers news this season as I cover all things Red and Black for The Football Sack.