Bruised and battered Mariners all class against Wanderers

-

A gritty battle in the home heat for Central Coast Mariners ended with a 2-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers in Gosford on Saturday evening.

A stalemate of sorts opened the match as both sides refused to give any edge early on.

A length-of-the-field pass by Mariners keeper Mark Birighitti to Josh Nisbet opened the first attacking chance. A deflection from Nisbet’s shot found striker Marco Urena but he seared the ball away from goal.

Physicality was matched with both sides using their bodies to out-muscle one another. Wanderers skipper Rhys Williams was fortunate to escape being carded with his aerial challenge on Moresche, though Mariners midfielder Harry Steele wasn’t so lucky, picking up a yellow for some pushing.

Embed from Getty Images

An excellent through ball from defender Lewis Miller found a speedy Urena who pushed a pass past an outstretched Moresche and away from goal. Minutes later another chance was pushed across the goal, this time from Ogawa.

At times the Mariners defence looked in two minds, allowing Wanderers attackers to gain nifty ground before intervening at the last moment. Mariners keeper Birighiitti constantly pleaded to his backline to attack sooner.

The first half was filled with several chances from each side though neither had the keepers touching the ball. Mariners skipper Oliver Bozanic also was unlucky to curl one wide in his 100th A-League Men’s appearance, narrowly shaving the left-upright, unable to break the 0-0 deadlock entering half-time.

Embed from Getty Images

Akin to the first half, scoring opportunities went begging early. First Urena then Nisbet both had cracks to break the deadlock but couldn’t.

Finally after 60 minutes of play, Mariners were able to find the back of the net via an outstretched Cy Goddard, who converted following an excellent ball from Lewis Miller.

Embed from Getty Images

The Wanderers high percentage of completed passes kept their attack steady, though they had minimal chances at goal. Some individual brilliance from Wanderers substitute Dimitrios Petratos left three Mariners defenders on the ground but a fired-up Birighitti was there to save the day.

Some questionable calls and no-calls from referee Lachlan Keevers going against the home side kept fans on the edge of their seats entering six minutes of injury time.

With seconds left in the game, skipperBozanic was gifted a present to cap off his 100th appearance with a stunning strike from a free-kick outside the box, capping off a gritty win for Central Coast.

Embed from Getty Images

Feature Image Credit: Robbie Szafranek

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Goddard 59′, Bozanic 90+6′)

Western Sydney Wanderers 0

Stadium: Central Coast Stadium

Referee: Lachlan Keevers

Assistant Referees: Andrej Giev & Hugh Fenton-White

Fourth Official: Tim Danaskos

Central Coast Mariners: Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), Lewis MILLER (Storm ROUX 85′), Joshua NISBET, Cy GODDARD (Nicolai MULLER 74′), Oliver BOZANIC, Matheus RODRIGUES (Béni NKOLOLO 74′), Marcos URENA Manyluak AGUEK (85′), Kye ROWLES, Jacob FARRELL, Daniel HALL, Harrison STEELE (Maximilien BALARD 66′)

Unused Subs: Noah SMITH, Ricardo RIZZO (GK)

Western Sydney Wanderers: Tomas MEJIAS (GK), Adama Traore (Tate RUSSELL 63′), Rhys WILLIAMS, Steven UGARKOVIC, Bernie IBINI-ISEI (Dimitrios PETRATOS 63′), Tomer HEMED, Keijiro OGAWA (Ramy NAJJARINE), James TROISI, John KOUTROUMBIS, Terry ANTONIS (Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS 63′), Thomas AQUILINA

Unused Subs: Zygmunt GORDON, Alessandro LOPANE, Daniel MARGUSH (GK)

Enjoy this content? Support The Football Sack

Due in part to COVID and lack of current sponsorship we are at risk of not having the funds to continue running The Football Sack. If you enjoy our content and support our work in training talented young writers, please support us with a donation. If every reader contributed just $3, our funding would be covered for over ten years.

DONATE

Learn with us

Mitchell Roese
Sports enthuse currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) at the University of Technology Sydney. Covering the Central Coast Mariners 2021/22 A-League Season

Latest Articles

Love your football?
Subscribe to our weekly football wrap. During the season we'll send you all the week's football action straight to your inbox.
* indicates required