Debutant sends Mariners seven points clear

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A debutant’s first touch of the game secured the Central Coast Mariners 2-0 win and sent them seven points clear of Macarthur FC at the top of the table.

The Mariners started the game with a strong press which resulted in Macarthur playing the ball out for a corner.

Danny De Silva was able to take a short corner, run into the box and deliver a perfect pass to an open Stefan Nigro who sent the ball over the crossbar.

Macarthur were quick to create their own chance on goal in the 5th minute when Tommy Oar was found open at the back post, but the former Mariner put his shot straight into Mark Birighitti who pushed it clear.

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It was the Mariners who struck first in the 9th minute. Marco Urena laid off the ball to an open Matt Simon who had his shot blocked, but the deflection lifted the ball over Adam Federici and into the back of the net.

While the Mariners were defensively strong, their attacks seemed to end with a bad touch or pass leading to a poor turnover.

In the 43rd minute Macarthur had their best chance yet when a free kick skidded across an open box but no one tapped it in.

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The Mariners finally had a chance from their own free kick, it fell to Nigro who shot from outside the box but it slipped past the post. The Mariners then forced a turnover from the goal kick and Josh Nisbet was able to cross the ball but a good clearance from Macarthur kept scores level.

The first chance of the second half fell to Macarthur after a free kick forced a save from Birighitti, who was then fouled by Matt Derbyshire.

The Mariners had a clear chance when their press forced another turnover and De Silva’s shot hit the post and crawled along the goal line, but Federici recovered the ball in the nick of time to prevent the goal.

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In the 82nd minute, former Mariners’ ball boy Matthew Hatch scored with his first touch of the ball – 30 seconds into his professional debut. The Mariners worked the ball into the box from a throw in and Kuol found an open Hatch who blasted it past Federici.

Macarthur continued to dominate possession but could not find their rythm in the attacking third. They could not break down the defence of the Mariners, who now move seven points clear at the top of the table.

The question needs to be asked, can anyone stop the runaway Mariners?

Central Coast Mariners: 2 (Simon 9’, Hatch 81’)

Macarthur FC: 0

Stadium: Central Coast Stadium

Central Coast Mariners: Mark Birighitti, Josh Nisbet, Stefan Nigro, Oliver Bozanic (Balard 90+3’), Daniel DeSIlva, Jack Clisby, Marcos Urena (Janota 62’), Daniel Bouman (Hatch 81’), Kye Rowles, Matt Simon (Kuol 62’), Ruon Tongyik

Substitutes: Adam Pearce, Lewis Miller, Jayden Casella, Alou Kuol, Michal Janota, Daniel Hall, Max Balard, Matthew Hatch

Macarthur FC: Adam Federici, Jake McGing, Benat Etxebarria, Mark Milligan, Loic Puyo (Genreau 62’), Tommy Oar (Ruhs 77’), James Meredith (Franjic 62”), Aleksandar Susnjar, Matt Derbyshire, Lachlan Rose (Hollman 62’), Markel Susaeta

Substitutes: Antony Golec, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Ivan Franjic, Dennis Genreau, Michael Ruhs, Jake Hollman, Wood

Featured Image credit: Ben Johnston

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Ben Johnston
Ben Johnston
I grew up on the Central Coast and fell in love with football in 2005. Supporter of Mariners, Manchester United and Macclesfield Town.

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