Despite leading for majority of the contest the Central Coast Mariners were forced to share the spoils with Melbourne City when their heart-breaking 84th minute equaliser cancelled out Ross McCormack’s first half strike.
Central Coast Mariners 1 (McCormack 21’) Melbourne City FC 1 (Vidosic 84’)
The run down
With plenty of subplots leading into kick-off, it was always going to be a former player from one side that would write the headlines which Ross McCormack looked to do in the first half.
After some half chances fell both ways, the Scottish striker took the game into his own hands and fired home the opening goal of the match after just 20 minutes. Against his old club, in his first appearance at Central Coast Stadium for the Mariners, McCormack ran onto a perfect through ball from Connor Pain to make it 1-0.
City’s best chance of the half fell to Bruno Fornaroli just five minutes later who found himself in the box with a prime one-on-one opportunity. His strike was uncharacteristically wide of goal when he lost his footing before shooting.
Then, with almost the last kick of the half, McCormack had an opportunity to double his tally for the evening with a set piece in ‘McCormack territory’. His strike was on the money, but it was denied by a sensationally diving Eugene Galekovic, which saw the Mariners head into the sheds with a one goal lead.
During the second half, the Mariners midfielders, particularly Aiden O’Neill continued their hard work in the middle of the park to control the tone of the game, winning every fifty-fifty challenge.
Kye Rowles & Kalifa Cisse made several crucial challenges in the Mariners back third to keep their sides in the hunt, whilst City threw everything forward to earn an equaliser.
City’s attack finally paid dividends with less than five minutes to go when a scrappy goal just crossed the line to make it 1-1.
The draw earns the Mariners their second point of the season in their second game, with all eyes on another Central Coast Stadium encounter next Sunday against Adelaide United.
21’ MCCORMACK GOAL (1-0): Last week’s goalscorer turned creator when Connor Pain threaded the perfect ball to McCormack in the box. McCormack made no mistake with his finish, sliding his shot in the bottom corner to make it 1-0.
84’ VIDOSIC GOAL (1-1): Ben Kennedy made a superb point blank save on his line althought it then triggered a pinball type play in the box. After several attempts, substitute Vidosic found a way to knock it over the line to force an equaliser with five minutes to go.
Mulvey in the media
“When you concede an equaliser in the 84th minute you’re obviously disappointed that you don’t hold onto the lead,” Mulvey said. “But if I’m truthful about it, City deserved that equaliser, but my players didn’t deserve to concede if that makes sense.
“We put in a great effort, it’s building blocks. Last week we got a point, this week we got a point, so onwards and upwards from here.
“I knew the second goal was going to prove crucial and I thought Ross had it with that free-kick. It was a great free-kick and a great save.
“We tried to push for the second goal and we found ourselves a little pegged back and we couldn’t contain the ball often enough to mount too much pressure in the second half which is something we will work on.
“Ross has come to us and hasn’t played since February with Melbourne City. I don’t want to single anyone out because everyone who started and came on off the bench put a great shift in and I’m really happy.
“The best is yet to come. We changed it up a bit from last week, we got a deserved goal after pressing high and I think if you look at it as a whole, City deserved the point but we’re disappointed that we conceded late on,” Mulvey said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY (25.Jordan MURRAY 73’), 11.Connor PAIN (10.Tommy OAR 64’), 13.Aiden O’NEILL (22.Jacob MELLING 79’), 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 20.Kalifa CISSE, 44.Ross McCORMACK
Substitutes not used: 12.Adam PEARCE (GK) & 4.Jake McGING
Yellow cards: nil
Melbourne City FC: 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Ritchie De LAET 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 8.Riley MCGREE, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 19.Lachlan WALES (10.Dario VIDOSIC 74’), 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA (3.Scott JAMIESON 68’), 26.Luke BRATTAN (7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS 68’), 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER
Substitutes not used: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) & 17.Anthony CACERES
Yellow cards: Brattan 34’, De Laet 51’, La Rocca 63’
Saturday, 27 October 2018
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City FC