A second half strike to Melbourne City’s Ross McCormack was enough for the home side to claim three points over the Central Coast Mariners at AAMI Park in a game that ended 1-0.

Melbourne City FC 1 (McCormack 59’) Central Coast Mariners 0

The run down

The result sees the Central Coast Mariners maintain fifth position whilst Melbourne City sit in third spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

Full focus for the Yellow & Navy now turns to a crucial battle with fierce rivals, the Western Sydney Wanderers at home on Saturday night at Central Coast Stadium.

It was a quiet opening 45 minutes for the Central Coast Mariners with their star performer being the goalkeeper, Ben Kennedy who made a number of crucial saves to keep his side locked on even terms with Melbourne City.

The Mariners were without star Dutch midfielder, Tom Hiariej who was withdrawn late due to a leg injury which saw Liam Rose granted his second start of the campaign.

Despite majority of the first half chances falling to City who recorded five shots on target to the Mariners zero, both sides had an even share of possession going into the break.

The Yellow & Navy’s key threat in the first half was Connor Pain on the left who looked to cut in with his trademark move on the left wing to link up with the likes of Danny De Silva and Kwabena Appiah but the Melbourne City back four were up to the task.

With plenty of work to do in the second half the Mariners came out flying from the break and looked the better of the two sides. Although, against the run of play Melbourne City bagged the opener through McCormack who scored his first goal from open play of the season.

It was a much more evenly placed second half and the Mariners had several chances in the dying stages to snatch a point. One of which, was Andrew Hoole who cut in from the right – before crossing, his foot was stepped on by City’s La Rocca in the box but penalty claims were waved away.

Shortly after in the 83rd minute, two of the Mariners substitutes combined to create another chance when Adam Berry’s dangerous cross found Blake Powell in the box. Powell volleyed but his strike was just wide of the apex.

Then, in stoppage time, the Mariners’ best chance of the match came flying across the face when Trent Buhagiar’s curling right footer found Connor Pain. Pain took a touch before shooting with his right foot that was only blocked by a goal saving tackle by City’s Stefan Mauk that was enough to confirm all three points for the home side.

Goal

59’ MCCORMACK (1-0): It started from the goalkeeper, when Dean Bouzanis resumed play quickly from a goal kick. The ball immediately found Luke Brattan who broke into space and played a precision ball to a charging McCormack. McCormack steadied himself in the box and tucked his shot past Kennedy, who had no chance to make a save.

Paolo in the press

“Melbourne City had one or two opportunities in the first half from us giving the ball away cheaply,” Okon said. “But I thought we had our moments also, although we didn’t really threaten and we were a bit lucky to go into the break on even terms.

“In the second half, I felt we were dominating and conceded a goal that we didn’t defend as best as possible. Once they scored, they sat behind the ball and made it difficult but that said, we got into dangerous areas and we had a great chance at the end there where Connor Pain’s shot gets blocked by Stefan Mauk. It’s disappointing that we don’t get a penalty as well. I’m still trying to figure out how the VAR works. La Rocca on Andrew Hoole.

“From my understanding, VAR can overrule if it’s an obvious error. It is an obvious error because the referee doesn’t see it. So, the VAR you have the technology: penalty or not penalty? It’s such a grey area, it just doesn’t make sense. An obvious error for me is when a referee doesn’t see an incident. If you’re upstairs and you see that it’s a penalty, it’s a penalty.

“I don’t want to be sit here and be understood as winging, full credit to Melbourne City. I am just talking about that incident. If it’s not given, it’s not given. That’s fine. We’ve got the technology but I don’t think it’s being used effectively.

“Melbourne City are a really good side – you’re not going to be sitting third on the ladder if you’re not a good side, so we knew it was going to be a very difficult game. The fact that they sat back at the end, we knew that was going to be hard to break down. Because they are very aggressive in the way they chase down the ball in close spaces, they are a very fit side.

“We had a couple of moments in the second half that, maybe with a bit more luck we can score but it wasn’t to be.

“At the moment, we are happy with the way we’re playing, we’re a dangerous team and we’re no longer the easy beats that we once were not so long ago. We would have liked to have gone home with something from this game but I guess it’s now about recovering and making sure we’re ready for next Saturday’s home game against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

“Tom picked up a minor injury in training yesterday. Given that we’re so early in the season we weren’t going to take any risks to aggravate the injury and we want people out there who are going to be 200%. We felt Liam Rose did very well, he’s been waiting for this opportunity since round one. It took him a bit to get involved into the game but before he came off, he was outstanding.

“Tom says he thinks he will be OK for next week. The medical staff want to wait 48 hours as it only happened yesterday – to give it a better judgement. Asdrubal & Storm are back to full training. Storm has been out a bit longer than Asdrubal.

“Asdrubal will certainly be back next week pending any hiccups during the week – Storm, depending on how much work we can get into him, match fitness is important but, that will all become clearer during the week,” Okon said.

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY(gk), 3.Josh ROSE (12.Trent BUHAGIAR 89’), 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 10. Danny De SILVA, 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Kwabena APPIAH (8.Blake POWELL 71’), 15. Alan BARO, 16. Liam ROSE (14.Adam BERRY 80’), 23. Wout BRAMA

Substitutes not used: 18.Tom GLOVER (gk) & 21.Kye ROWLES

Yellow cards: Baro 10’

Melbourne City FC: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 37.Nathan ATKINSON, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 23.Michael JAKOBSEN, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 13.Stefan MAUK, 6.Osama MALIK, 44.Ross McCORMACK (12.Braedyn CROWLEY 88’), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 7.Nick FITZGERALD

Substitutes not used: 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 27. Marcin BUDINSKI, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 21.Ruon TONGYIK

Yellow cards: Jakobsen 72’

Sunday, 10 December 2017
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne City vs. Central Coast Mariners

The Central Coast Mariners have recorded back-to-back wins with a hard-fought victory over Perth Glory thanks to super sub, Blake Powell who started and finished the winning goal at Central Coast Stadium just one minute after stepping foot on the pitch.

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Powell 78’) Perth Glory 0

The run down

A crucial three points capped off the perfect family outing at Gosford’s idyllic bayside arena where the Yellow & Navy rewarded the 8115-strong crowd who helped the Mariners over the line against Perth Glory.

The full-time whistle triggered scenes at Central Coast Stadium where Danny De Silva was crowned man-of-the-match where he ran almost 100m before dancing along the byline to deliver the assist for Powell.

It was a Sunday afternoon where the Mariners looked and played like the better team from the opening whistle, claiming back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

From the outset, the boys in stripes took a foot-hold and maintained possession, playing beautiful passing football, and constantly pressuring the Glory back four.

Jake McGing was the biggest threat of the first half, bombing down the right and whipping in numerous balls to cause havoc for the visitors.

Not to be outdone by the right back, Tom Hiariej, Andrew Hoole and Danny De Silva were making menacing runs and precision through balls, showing composure and class all through the midfield.

The best chances came midway through the first half when a McGing cross was met by a glancing header from Kwabena Appiah which looked certain to hit the bottom corner only to be denied by an outstretched Liam Reddy. Minutes later, another McGing cross raced across the face of goal with Connor Pain reaching to get the final touch that skewed just wide.

For most of the half Perth were forced to defensively scramble only just keeping the ball from hitting the back of the net, ending the first half on even terms.

The beginning of the second half was more of the same from the Mariners, dominating possession and creating chances. Again, only last ditch defending kept the Glory in the game.

As wave after wave of attack from the Mariners couldn’t make the net shake, Glory tried to edge their way back into the game in the second half.

The turning point though came midway through the second half when Wout Brama made a sneaky run into the box from no-where, but his chipped cross was flicked out for a corner. The Mariners regained their composure and continued peppering the Glory goal.

Finally, the Mariners broke through and beat the Glory’s defence. Powell made an immediate impact off the bench scoring just one minute after coming on. Powell linked up with De Silva, who broke into the box then cut back for Powell to smash his strike in off the crossbar.

After the goal, the game opened up with chances coming in a flurry for the Mariners. Hoole went close when he was found with space in the box but his off-balance shot flew over the bar. Powell was found in acres of space in stoppage time but his long-range shot narrowly flew past the target.

As the final whistle blew, the Mariners erupted with joy securing a crucial win, taking them into the top four on the ladder.

Goal

78’ POWELL (1-0): After subbing on just one minute prior, Bake Powell played in Danny De Silva, who sprinted down the wing and into the box before he cut back to Powell whose shot blasted into the net off the crossbar. De Silva started the play well inside his own half before sprinting almost 100m to dance along the byline and cut back to Powell in the box.

Paolo in the press

“From day one at pre-season we knew that we were going to be a team that was going to be able to compete and that’s all that we’ve wanted to do and that’s going to continue,” Okon said. “I don’t think we are there as a football club to be looking too far ahead. We had a good win last weekend, a good recovery and made sure we quickly turned our focus to this game because we knew how important it was to win back-to-back games.

“I think today’s conditions were really tough. The game was brought forward to encourage people to come and watch, the turn out was fantastic but it meant that from the kick off the conditions were tough.

“In the end it was a bit of a scrap, I still think that we probably did enough to win. I’m just delighted for the fact that we get that third win and we’ll move on now to Melbourne City.

“I think we weren’t clinical enough in the first half we had the header from ‘Kabsy’ which probably should go in and we had one or two that just needed a tap in. We’re getting into those areas and that’s the first part of it but you need to capitalise on it and if you don’t do it then you don’t build scoreboard pressure and you allow the opposition to stay in the game.

“It’s an area that we are working on, we’re improving and in the end, that’s where the goal comes from. A bit of Daniel De Silva magic and a cross and Powelly finishes it off. Delighted for Blake he has worked hard the past six months, last week he came on and assisted Trent for the fourth goal and he gets his reward this evening by scoring the winning goal.

“We always planned to bring him on at some stage we wanted to make the right moment, that we didn’t bring him on too early, because this is only his 2nd appearance after being out for so long and he hasn’t many games leading up so we knew that we had to get that right and not put him on too early.

“Powelly scores those goals every day in training, we know he can do that, we’re not going to take the credit for putting him on, that’s Powelly’s job, to come on and make a difference like every sub did today. Again, we’re delighted for him that he scores that winning goal.

“It’s encouraging, I think most people have heard it a million times in press conferences from coaches: if you keep a clean sheet then your half way to winning a football game. I think that’s one of the truest statements in football, if you don’t concede then you only need to score one and in the end today that was enough to see us through and get us three points.

“We know we can defend, we were so disappointed in the first few rounds that the way we gave away goals and it was totally the opposite of how it was going in pre-season. We knew we were capable, if we can keep clean sheets we know that we are going to score goals and we know that we are exciting going forward, we’re going to create opportunities.

“Jake had a tough round one game against the Jets and he was criticised heavily for it. From our side, we know that it’s not a natural position for him and he needed a few games to feel comfortable and at the moment he has delivered. His cross for Kabsy’s header in the first half was something that we were working on during the week. Like everyone, there is no guarantees here to play. We’ve got Storm Roux coming back next week, Josh Rose and Asdrubal will probably be back next week. Decisions to be made. Everyone wants to have depth and we are happy to have the headache of leaving people out because we know that it’s going to contribute to performances and to wins.

“We didn’t listen at the start when they said same old Mariners, Mariners again conceded and Mariners this and that. We didn’t listen to it then. So, we aren’t going to listen to it now. We know we are a very good football team, we know we can compete.

“We want to have our say in the competition now, right now, you say we are in the top 4, we are in the top 4. It can change very very quickly and we as a football club are conscious of where we are at,” Okon said.

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY(gk), 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 10. Danny De SILVA (12.Trent BUHAGIAR 90+1’), 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Kwabena APPIAH (8. Blake POWELL 77’), 15. Alan BARO, 21.Kye ROWLES (16. Liam ROSE 61’), 23. Wout BRAMA

Substitutes not used: 18.Tom GLOVER (gk) & 14.Adam BERRY

Yellow cards: Rowles 55’, Hiariej 61’, McGing 66’, Powell 90+2’

Perth Glory FC: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Xavier TORRES, 14.Chris HAROLD (11. Mitchell MALLIA 72’), 15.Brandon WILSON (20.Jake BRIMMER 84’), 16.Joseph MILLS, 19.Joseph KNOWLES (34.Yagoub MUSTAFA 86’), 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 29.Jeremy WALKER

Substitutes not used: 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk) & 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO

Yellow cards: Grant 90+3’

Sunday, 3 December 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners

This Sunday the Central Coast Mariners host Perth Glory at Central Coast Stadium and we caught up with Paul Okon ahead of the crucial clash. Kick-off is 5pm.

With a new family friendly timeslot of 5pm, Paul Okon’s Mariners are hoping for a big crowd at Central Coast Stadium in a fixture where football fans can BRING THEIR FAMILY 4 FREE!

The Mariners have already faced Perth Glory once this season where they found the back of the net first through Wout Brama at nib Stadium. Ultimately, the Mariners fell 2-1 away from home and will be looking for redemption in round nine.

Both sides come into the fixture in red hot form after recording convincing wins last week. The Mariners accounted 4-1 for the Wellington Phoenix in Wellington and Perth Glory returned home from Melbourne with three points thanks to a 3-1 win over Melbourne City.

Perth Glory travel to Central Coast with a number of key players missing and will be hoping to continue their run of form away from home.

In just ANOTHER reason to get excited for Sunday's fixture, the Six Stripes Coastie Lager will be available and on tap at the Mariners Pre-Game Function at the Gosford Bowling Club from 3pm (entry to the right of the eastern gate at Central Coast Stadium). To help celebrate the arrival of summer, those over the age of 18 will be treated to one complimentary Six Stripes Coastie lager to help stay cool ahead of kick-off.

Opta Stat-Attack

The Mariners have won two of their last three games against Perth Glory (L1), keeping a clean sheet in each of those victories.
Only once in A-League history have Perth Glory managed to pick up a regular-time victory against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium (Won on Penalties 1, D2, L15).
The Mariners have kept a first-half clean sheet in five of their last six games on home turf.
The Glory have won only one of their last five games played on a Sunday (D1, L3), though that sole win was a 2-1 home effort over the Mariners in Round 3 this season.
Perth Glory have made 244 clearances this campaign, 26 more than any other team.
Wout Brama, who scored a goal in his previous encounter with Perth Glory, has made 474 passes so far this season, the second most of any player in the competition.

Paolo in the Press

“We’re really happy to be at home on Sunday,” Okon said. “We had a fantastic result last week but we’ve put that behind us and we know how important Sunday is to us. We felt like we threw away some points in round three against Perth so on Sunday we want to get those points back in front of our home supporters.

“We’re at home, we’ve got a lot to play for and hopefully the players will show that in their performance.

“Obviously they’re missing Castro and if you’re missing a player of that quality it’s always going to hurt you. But they’ve been missing him for a few weeks now and they got a good result last week. We know that Andy Keogh & Mitch Nichols up front are in some good form so I think they are the players that Kenny will be relying on to lead the line. We need to make sure that defensively we can match up to them and play our football to see us through.

“We’ve been promising a result like that for a number of weeks now, we’ve been creating chances but we just haven’t been clinical enough or that final pass has been missing but fortunately for us last Saturday it all came together which was pleasing. Now we need to continue to do that.

“We expect players in our front line to score 8-10 goals this season, Danny now was two, Hooley has two so everyone has to chip in and if we can do that it will give us a good chance to win football games.

“I say this with all honesty, position on the ladder is not important to us at this stage of the season. It’s about making sure we prepare as best as possible, make sure we perform like we know we can. On Sunday we expect a strong supporter base with the earlier kick-off time and we’re looking forward to another three points.

“Playing at home is very important. When we saw the 7pm kick-off on a Sunday we weren’t too happy because it’s not a time slot that will get people out of their homes. The fact that we have the earlier kick-off time on the back of a good win will encourage people to come out and support us.

“At home we really need that support and when we’ve had it this season we’ve always performed well,” Okon said.

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Blake POWELL, 9.ASDRUBAL, 10.Daniel De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16. Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 23.Wout BRAMA

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 9.ASDRUBAL (return from injury), 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 2.Storm ROUX (ankle injury – 1 week), 3.Josh ROSE (calf injury – 1 week)

Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Xavi TORRES, 9.Andy KEOGH (c), 11. Mitch MALLIA, 13 Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joseph MILLS, 19.Joe KNOWLES, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 24.Callum TIMMINS, 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 29.Jeremy WALKER, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**one to be omitted**

Ins: 24.Callum TIMMINS (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 1-2 weeks), 3.Marc WARREN (ankle – 4-5 weeks), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 2-3 weeks), 17.Diego CASTRO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 18. Andreu GUERAO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (groin – 2-3 weeks)

NEW Match Details
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 9
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvPER & #CCMFC

Danny De Silva named November nominee for the Hyundai A-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 Award

Football Federation Australia (FFA) and NAB, together with the Central Coast Mariners are proud to announce Danny De Silva as the November nominee for the Hyundai A-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 Award.

This is Danny’s first nomination for the Hyundai A-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award.

Danny joins Melbourne City FC’s Bruce Kamau who was the October nominee.

November has been a special month for Danny in the Hyundai A-League. He was instrumental in the Mariners 2-0 victory over Sydney FC and also scored his team’s second goal in their win over the Wellington Phoenix last weekend.

The Hyundai A-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 will be announced at the Dolan Warren Awards Night. NAB ‘s Chief Marketing Officer, Andrew Knott, said he is proud to see the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award continue to identify and reward outstanding achievement of talented young footballers.“We congratulate Danny on his nomination and look forward to watching his development and growth on the football field in the years to come,” said Andrew Knott.

“We are also pleased to recognise Danny’s nominated junior club, Stirling Lions Soccer Club in Western Australia and hope that our support will help the club to continue developing the game in communities across Australia.”

Danny’s nominated junior club will receive a NAB Club Recognition Award, which includes a range of equipment along with $2000.The overall winner of the Hyundai A-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 Award will receive a $10,000 personal investment portfolio, along with a NAB Private Client Manager to assist with a range of banking products and services.

“As a supporter of the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award, we are proud to play an important role in identifying and rewarding the future stars of the game. Who knows, we may even see some of the nominees in the green and gold jersey in the future,” Knott, continued.  

Each month representatives from the FFA Technical Department vote on a 3-2-1 basis for the most outstanding U-23 players in the Hyundai A-League during that period.

Hyundai A-League Round 9 - Blake Powell

Ahead of the Central Coast Mariners Hyundai A-League Round 9 clash with Perth Glory, Blake Powell spoke with media.

On Saturday against Wellington Phoenix, Blake Powell made his first appearance in the Hyundai A-League since January 28 due to a long-term injury that has kept him sidelined. Powell substituted on against the Wellington Phoenix to contribute with an assist against his old club and spoke about the excitement of his return. The first question of the press conference was asked by Mariners defender, Antony Golec.

Audio Feed
Blake Powell interview: click here to download  

TV Broadcast Feed
Blake Powell interview: click here to download

NEW Match Details 
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 9
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvPER & #CCMFC

The Central Coast Mariners are excited to announce that Football Federation Australia have today made the decision to bring forward the kick-off time for our next home game against Perth Glory from 7pm to 5pm on Sunday December 3. The Mariners will also commit to a ticket offer that allows football fans to bring their whole family for as little as $20!

NEW Match Details 
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 9
Match:  Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvPER & #CCMFC

The Central Coast Mariners welcome the decision made by Football Federation Australia which favours the club’s family friendly match days.

Kicking off two hours earlier against Perth Glory on Sunday December 3 at Central Coast Stadium will allow more families to enjoy an action-packed Sunday 5pm Football session to help celebrate the start of summer.


Central Coast Mariners are also launching a “BRING YOUR FAMILY 4 FREE” ticketing campaign whereby purchasing one adult ticket will allow you to redeem an additional adult ticket and two juniors! This offer allows football fans to bring their whole family for as little as $20!

With the new kick-off time, the Central Coast Mariners will also invest in a range of family friendly match day activations to ensure that there are plenty of reasons for mums, dads, sons and daughters to attend.

A range of family friendly activations are set to be announced that include; FREE baby sitters at Central Coast Stadium, entertainment on the Western Warm Up Field and MUCH MORE! Stay tuned for more details. (terms and conditions may apply).

Central Coast Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp welcomed the decision made by Football Federation Australia.

“For the FFA to shift our kick-off from 7pm to 5pm is a great result for Mariners Members and football families on the Central Coast,” Mielekamp said. “With a family friendly time slot of 5pm on a Sunday, we will do everything we can to make the match day experience as enjoyable as possible.

“It is great that the we’ve had the opportunity to work with FFA and Fox Sports which has resulted in such a dynamic and agile outcome that we’re confident will improve the crowd and experience for families.

“We are backing this call with a BRING YOUR FAMILY 4 FREE campaign that is a sensational offer for any adult ticket purchase to get a family upgrade free.  

“What is important now is that all Mariners Members and fans take this opportunity to show their support for a better timeslot and also be our 12th man at this game. Our team is having a real crack at earning their stripes this season and now it is important for our fans and members to earn their stripes by getting to the game and giving us the home ground advantage that we need,” Mielekamp said.