Determined Mariners find a way past dogged Adelaide

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Central Coast Mariners continue to keep their finals hopes alive with a dominant 3-0 win over Adelaide United on a wet Saturday night in Gosford.

Marcos Urena showed his pace early by outpacing Adelaide defender Lachlan Barr, before turning the ball inside to Jason Cummings, who was unable to convert.

Minutes later, Central Coast burst into uproar as a challenge inside the box on Storm Roux wasn’t deemed worthy of a penalty, even after referee Alireza Faghani sent it to VAR.

In the 27th minute, Adelaide keeper Joe Gauci made his claim to any NRL club in need of a forward after his ‘off-the-back-fence’ charge at Urena. The ensuing contact warranted an initial yellow before VAR overturned it to a red.

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Attention turned to United’s 17-year-old Steven Hall to replace Gauci. Hall was kept on his toes from his entrance right up until the half-time whistle with some incredible saves to hold the deadlock at 0-0.

Central Coast’s drenching rain welcomed both sides to the second half. Mariners Béni Nkololo had a chance to score the opener after Noah Smith sent him in on goal, though Nkololo’s footing got the better of him.

Mariners dominated early second-half possession though failed to capitalise. Urena went close to scoring twice in two minutes with youngster Hall making some spectacular saves at close range.

The best opportunity of the game then fell at the feet of Jacob Farrell, and yet again Adelaide’s defence held strong to match their keeper’s efforts.

Finally, after 77 minutes of play, a low cross from Lewis Miller created space for a charging Urena to soar the ball into the goal for the opener.

Adelaide had few striking chances in the second half as Central Coast continued to silence any opportunities.

Mariners seemed unfazed with only a 1-0 victory, so they turned up the heat in stoppage time. First Cummings, and then a speedy Matthew Hatch slid the ball passed Hall to consolidate victory.

Central Coast make it two in a row and will look to improve their finals charge against highfliers Western United next Saturday. Adelaide will drop on the ladder after this result and must strike back to avoid further dropping points.

Central Coast Mariners 3 (Urena 78′, Cummings 90+1, Hatch 90+3)

Adelaide United 0

Stadium: Central Coast Stadium

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Assistant Referees: Matthew Cream & Brad Wright

Fourth Official: Sam Kelly

Central Coast Mariners: Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK) (C), Joshua NISBET, Noah SMITH (James BAYLISS 90+3′), Jason CUMMINGS, Beni NKOLOLO (Matthew HATCH 60′), Marcos URENA, Storm ROUX ( Lewis MILLER 60′), Maximilien BALARD (Matheus RODRIGUES 78′), Jacob FARRELL (Harrison STEELE 86′), Daniel HALL, Cameron WINDUST

Unused Subs: Atem Dor JOK, Yaren SOZER (GK)

Adelaide United: Joe GAUCI (GK), George TIMOTHEOU (Joe CALETTI 73′), Ryan KITTO (C), Isaias Sanchez CORTES, George BLACKWOOD (Joshua CAVALLO 63′), Mohamed TOURE (Craig GOODWIN 63′), Zac CLOUGH (Louis D’ARRUGO 63′), Javier Lopez RODRIGUEZ, Lachlan BARR, Juan De Dios Prados LOPEZ, Lachlan BROOK (Steven HALL (GK) 28′)

Unused Subs: Bernardo OLIVERIRA, Alexander POPOVIC

Feature Image Credit: Central Coast Mariners

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Mitchell Roese
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

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