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Sydney FC Young Guns Deliver The Points In Gosford
(this page courtesy Sydney FC website)

Sydney FC 3 (Ninkovic 8’, Tilio 89’, Van der Saag 90’+1’) def. Central Coast 0

Sydney FC’s young guns Marco Tilio and Harry Van der Saag came off the bench to secure the three points against Central Coast Mariners and send the Sky Blues 13 points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League.

McGowan Chance – 4’ – Brattan’s free-kick to the far post finds the head of Grant to nod back across and McGowan fires over with his left foot.
Ninkovic Goal – 8’ – Grant crosses to the far post where Miller fails to clear and Ninkovic is on hand to nudge the ball past Birighitti.
Caceres Chance – 18’ – Caceres is allowed to charge forward and strikes powerfully from range which the keeper fumbles but gathers at the second attempt.
Stensness Goal Disallowed - 45’ – A Mariners free kick on the left, won controversially, is headed home by Stensness but is ruled out for offside by the linesman; upheld by VAR.
Debut Tilio Goal – 89’ - Van der Saag breaks clear on the right and cuts the ball back to Tilio who takes a touch before slotting in low on his Hyundai A-League debut.
Van der Saag – 90’ + 1’ - A reversal of fortunes as Tilio feeds Van der Saag, who drives into a gap in the Mariners defence and smashes the ball into the top corner beyond Birighitti.

Sydney FC youngsters Marco Tilio and Harry Van der Saag were the heroes as the Sky Blues marched 13 points clear at the Hyundai A-League summit defeating the Central Coast Mariners 3-0.

Milos Ninkovic opened the scoring in the 8th minute latching onto a mistake by Miller in the Mariners back line to flick the ball past Birighitti.

Having played in Japan midweek the Sky Blues dug deep and defended well against a Mariners side who pressed forward in the second half.

With time running out Head Coach Steve Corica introduced the fresh legs of the young stars and they delivered setting up one another with a goal to help the Sky Blues ease through the final stages of the game.

All eyes now turn to Friday night’s big Sydney Derby against the Western Sydney Wanderers at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

Steve Corica: “I’m very pleased with the result, it’s been a tough week. I think the boys showed great character today. We defended well and kept another clean sheet.

“We wanted to make sure we came back and won this game. To get the three points is vital for us and we move forward again.

“You’ve got to dig deep in games like these. It just didn’t work out for us in Japan. To come back and get the win showed good character, and I’m very pleased for the young boys who scored too.

“Marco has been waiting a long time, he’s been looking really good in training. He’s got ability to run with the ball and has been banging them in in the Y-League. I’m very pleased for him and Harry.”

Sydney FC: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4. Alex WILKINSON, 6. Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam Le FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 58’), 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES (21. Harry Van Der SAAG 71’), 23. Rhyan GRANT, 26. Luke BRATTAN.

Subs Not Used: 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE, 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3. Ben WARLAND, 24. Marco TILIO, 27. Jordan SWIBEL.

Yellow Cards: Retre 20’, Brattan 65’,

Red Cards: None.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 2. Ziggy GORDON, 3. Jack CLISBY, 4. Eun-Seon KIM ©, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY (17. Samuel SILVERA 58’), 11. Daniel De SILVA, 18. Gianni STENSNESS, 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 24. Chris HAROLD (19. Matt SIMON, 77’), 26. Josh NISBET, 27. Lewis MILLER (10. Tommy OAR 58’).

Subs Not Used: 12. Adam PEARSE (GK), 7. Milan DURIC, 9. Jordan MURRAY, 29. JAIR.

Yellow Cards: Miller 19’, De Silva 78’, Kim 93’.

Red Cards: None.

Ground: Central Coast Stadium

Referee: Chris Beath

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Wanderers see off Mariners in Gosford

A Matt Simon penalty and a late resurgence wasn't enough for the Mariners on Sunday night, as they fell 3-1 to the Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium.

It was a scrappy first half as the two teams vied for possession in the testing conditions, with plenty of chances created on both ends of the pitch.

Joshua Nisbet volleyed an effort at goal from the edge of the 18-yard box, but found Wanderers shot-stopper Lopar instead, and Daniel DeSilva and Tommy Oar both fired wide from inside the area in quick succession as the Mariners looked to push back aftera strong Wanderers opening.

Jordan Murray had the stand-out opportunity for the Mariners in the first half, getting on the end of a precision through ball from Nisbet, but after cutting inside he couldn’t keep the ball down.

There was a yellow card each for Matthew Jurman and Lewis Miller; the Western Sydney defender took Tommy Oar clean off his feet, and later Miller’s challenge brought Duke to ground.

Nicolai Muller was consistently dangerous in the Wanderers’ front third, carving a path through the Mariner’s defence to send a powerful shot skidding just wide of the mark in the 30th minute, then capitalising on a mistimed pass in the Mariners backline to put the visitors up 1-0 only minutes before half time.

The energy ramped up as the teams returned from the sheds for the second half and Mariners veteran Matt Simon made an immediate impact on the pitch, replacing Clisby at half time.

A flurry of missed chances for the Wanderers let the Mariners off, and Mark Birighitti was sent to ground after a close-range volley from Duke hit him directly in the face, a crucial block in a dangerous moment for the Mariners.

After a challenge in the penalty area from Tommy Oar on Simon Cox, Western Sydney were awarded a spot-kick that captain Mitchell Duke tucked away, sending the Wanderers two goals ahead with 15 minutes to go.

The tables were turned only minutes later, and a penalty was awarded to the Mariners after Pirmin Schwegler floored Simon in front of goal and the talisman stepped up to the spot and sent the ball straight to the back of the net.

Dylan Ruiz-Diaz came on for DeSilva late in the game, and the young forward had the crowd immediately on their feet with a goalbound header towards the bottom corner that Lopar did remarkably well to claw away for a Mariners corner.

The six minutes of added time were action packed as the Mariners worked to drive forward, and Muller received a yellow card for a cynical foul on Miller as the hosts charged forward, before the Wanderers launched a counter attack that finished with Simon Cox tapping home from close range.

Attentions for Stajcic and the Mariners now turn to Sunday’s #F3Derby clash with the Jets, with new signing Chris Harold set to join the side early in the week.

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Late heartbreak for Mariners as Roar steal three points

The Central Coast Mariners suffered a heart-breaking home defeat by a goal against a resurgent Brisbane Roar side, a Corey Brown deflected shot in the dying moments enough to clinch a win for the visitors after the Mariners dominated the majority of the match.

It was a reasonably even game in the opening exchanges, Dylan Wenzel-Halls testing Mark Birighitti in the home net, before some strong interplay by Lewis Miller and Milan Ðurić almost created a shooting opportunity for the Central Coast.

Ziggy Gordon provided a superb block to deny Inman from a tight angle, arriving at a vital moment after some applied pressure by the visitors.

Josh Nisbet looked comfortable in the starting eleven, for his second ever league start, and after breaking up play in the centre of the park the ball eventually found its way to Jordan Murray who had a good chance blocked and cleared.

The hosts had an early change, Gianni Stensness forced from the field with an injury on 40 minutes and replaced by Giancarlo Galifuocco.

It was an even contest again in the early minutes of the second half as both sides had chances without ever looking likely to convert.

Tommy Oar had the best of the second stanza’s early chances, striking a free kick from a dangerous area under the wall and into the hands of Roar 'keeper Jamie Young and the crowd at Gosford were up out of their seats when Danny De Silva struck the goal post shortly after, and Oar had the rebound cleared off the line, keeping the scores level.

With the clock wearing down Alen Stajcic called upon experienced frontman Matt Simon, replacing Oar in the 70th minute.

The game was increasingly a one-way contest, the Yellow & Navy desperate to put last week’s disappointing result behind them and build upon the heroics of the Melbourne Victory match.

A fast break from the home side almost broke the deadlock moments later; a fast passing move from De Silva and Nisbet set Murray up to take a crack at goal, and an arrowing a shot destined for the top corner was only just punched aside as Young sprung from nowhere to get a strong hand to it.

The hosts continued to press for a winner, however all their handwork was undone when the Queensland outfit grabbed a goal.

After Gordon did well to meet the first cross and half clear, Roar gathered the second ball with Akbari working it to Jay O’Shea then out to the left to Brown. Brown's first time low cross took a deflection off Miller, leaving Birighitti wrong footed and helpless to prevent the late goal.

The hosts continued to push for that elusive home goal, but the final score stayed at 0-1 in Brisbane’s favour, a gut-wrenching finish to a game that was otherwise dominated by the Yellow and Navy.

Attention for the Mariners now turns to Western Sydney Wanderers, who will be travelling to Central Coast Stadium next week for Round 17 of the Hyundai A-League.

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CC Mariners vs Western United

The Mariners tough run in Victoria continued on Sunday afternoon as three goals in the first half saw Western United record a 3-0 victory at GMHBA Stadium.

After an even opening period, United got on the scoresheet first after 6 minutes with Besart Berisha heading in despite a touch from Mark Birighitti.

A whipped cross from Alessandro Diamanti after a turnover found the head of Berisha in the area and he headed home into the far corner.

Despite the early setback the Mariners were full of belief and after a free flowing passing move Milan Ðurić fizzed an effort just wide of the Western goal.

And after 18 minutes United made the visitors pay for missed chances, Connor Pain’s cut back finding Josh Risdon, whose low effort struck Kye Rowles before burying in the back of the net.

Berisha added his second of the match from a Max Burgess cross which found the Albanian with an all but empty net to fire into and Western were up by three goals inside 21 minutes.

With the ball the Mariners continued to look enterprising and a header from Jordan Murray into the side netting was as close as they came through the middle of the half.

United were denied a fourth when Pain was flagged offside after squirming a shot under Birighitti, and Murray attempted an acrobatic effort on the stroke of the break which flew past the frame of goal.

The second half began in much the same fashion, the Mariners creating good opportunities however unable to deliver in the final third and Western almost went further ahead when Kone struck the crossbar after 54 minutes.

Murray again came close as he brought down a cross before volleying at goal, but the ball took a deflection and landed fortuitously for Kurto who was able to claim at the second time of asking.

The match fizzled out with no further scoring in the second half, and Alen Stajcic’s side will look to rebound next week when they take on Brisbane Roar at Central Coast Stadium.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

Lewis Miller signs senior contract with the Central Coast Mariners

The Central Coast Mariners are delighted to announce that young defender Lewis Miller has signed a professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners that will see him tied to the club until 2022.

Miller made two appearances late in the 2018/19 season with the Mariners, but has shot into prominence this season under Alen Stajcic and has cemented himself as a fan favourite since coming on against Adelaide United back in round six.

The following week Miller was one of four scholarship players on the pitch as the Mariners beat a well credentialled Western United 1-0 and Lewis has started five of the six matches since.

Speaking this week after signing his new deal and assisting with the Mariners’ opening goal on Sunday night, the 19-year old said he was thrilled to be staying loyal to the Mariners and continuing his progress on the Coast.

“I’m honoured to sign here with the Mariners,” Miller said. “I want to be a part of the future of this club as I believe we are heading in the right direction and I am hoping to continue to make a positive impact on the team.”

“I love it here on the Coast, everyone at the club is determined to do better going forward - the fans are great while the coaching staff and players are awesome.

“Staj has given me this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work with the coaching staff here in the next couple of years.”

Head Coach Stajcic praised the youngster for his season so far, and backed him to continue his strong form through the second half of the season.

“Lewis has shown a lot of promise this season and has shown great poise since coming into the side, so it’s great that we can reward him with a new contract,” Stajcic said.

“He’s a very talented footballer, and he continues to grow and mature s- he has potentially a very exciting future ahead of him and our job here is to help him develop to his full potential.”

“It’s great to see the Mariners giving boys like Lewis, Sammy [Silvera], Gianni [Stensness] a real chance to show what they can do as a core value at this club is to discover and allow really talented boys to flourish in a professional environment.”

Miller is another example of the club putting faith in young players and building a solid platform for the future , with Stensness recently extending his contract for a further two years and Silvera also a signing a long term senior contract the week before the season began.

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