Mariners edge past Macarthur in thriller

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Central Coast Mariners claimed a crucial three points at Campbelltown Stadium, downing Macarthur FC 2-1 on Friday night.

The Mariners got off to the best possible start hitting the front within four minutes. Jason Cummings’ pass in behind rolled under Tomislav Uskok’s foot, allowing Marco Tulio to run in behind and finish past Filip Kurto.

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Central Coast kept on pushing, and in the 11th minute, Beni Nkololo’s first-time effort from the edge of the box was just tipped over the bar by Kurto.

It got worse for Macarthur 26 minutes in, as Cummings scuffed home a right-footed effort from inside the box into the bottom left corner. Central Coast carried on creating chances with Tulio and Cummings both seeing shots repelled by Kurto over the next five minutes.

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Despite a torrid opening half for Macarthur, the side had two glorious chances to pull a goal back before the break. With Jed Drew’s strike from close range batted away by Daniel Vukovic before the veteran goalkeeper spared his own blushes swatting Jake Hollman’s lobbed effort into his grasp after giving the ball away cheaply.

A blistering first-half performance from the Mariners saw the side go into the break with a two-goal advantage.

The Bulls looked to turn the tide in the second half and halved the deficit three minutes before the hour mark. Matthew Millar bundling the ball home at the back post after Daniel Arzani’s neat flick following a right-sided corner. The side almost pulled level over the next few minutes with Vukovic called into action to deny both Hollman and Drew.

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Macarthur kept probing as opportunities continued to trickle through, but it looked like it wasn’t going to fall for the side. Mariners’ forward Cummings continued to be a threat going the other way though, forcing Kurto into a couple of sharp shaves with 17 minutes to go.

Arzani thought he had found the equalising goal for Macarthur with four minutes to play bending a right-footed effort from the edge of the box that flew just past the right post.

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However, the away side held on to claim a valuable three points.

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The win further cements Central Coast’s position in the top six, while Macarthur will likely see the sides below them draw closer in the fight for finals football as a consequence of the 2-1 defeat.

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Macarthur FC 1 (Matthew Millar 57’)

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Marco Tulio 4’, Jason Cummings 26’)

Stadium: Campbelltown Sports Stadium

Referee: Alireza Faghani

Assistant Referees: Kearney Robinson and Hugh Fenton-White

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

Macarthur FC: Filip KURTO (GK), Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, Tomislav USKOK, Jake HOLLMAN, Bachana ARABULI, Ulises DAVILA (C), Kearyn BACCUS (Anthony CARTER 83’), Ivan VUJICA, Al Hassan TOURE (Daniel ARZANI 46’), Jed DREW (Craig NOONE 84’), Matthew MILLAR (Jake MCGING 84’)

Unused subs: Nicholas SUMAN (GK), Charles M’MOMBWA, Jerry SKOTADIS

Central Coast Mariners: Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), Brian KALTAK, Joshua NISBET, Samuel SILVERA (Michael RUHS 71’), Jason CUMMINGS (Paul AYONGO 84’), Beni NKOLOLO (Thomas AQUILINA 84’), Harrison STEELE (Maximilien BALARD 58’), Storm ROUX, Jacob FARRELL, Nectarios TRIANTIS, Marco TULIO

Unused subs: Cameron WINDUST, Sasha KUZEVSKI, Yaren SOZER

Feature image credit: Glen Pokorny

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Timothy Gibson
I am a student currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism/ Bachelor of Laws while writing football match reports and feature articles.

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