Despite coming from behind twice, a gutsy Central Coast Mariners outfit were dealt a cruel blow at nib Stadium. A goal to Chris Ikonomidis in the 95th minute of play to seal a 3-2 win for Perth Glory.
Perth Glory 3 (Ikonomidis 12’ & 95’ & Lowry 61’) Central Coast Mariners 2 (Mrcela OG 36’ & O‘Neill 64')
The run down
It was a topsy-turvy first half that skewed in favour of the Glory who went up 1-0 early after Ikonomidis found the back of the net just 12 minutes in.
However, the opening goal wouldn’t deter the away team who desperately defended with Perth throwing everything at doubling their lead.
The defensive fight, especially from Kye Rowles, was swiftly turned into a Mariners’ attack with Matt Millar proving to be an effective focal point on the right wing. The Mariners’ persistence was rewarded in the form of an own goal in the 36th minute after back-to-back Mariners chances from the right.
The own goal was enough to cancel out Perth’s opener and saw both teams head into the sheds all even at 1-1.
Perth made it 2-1 on the hour mark through Shane Lowry who evaded his man and headed home a nice ball from Kilkenny.
A determined Mariners outfit upped the ante in the final 30 minutes of play and looked likely to work their way back into the game. It came in the form of an absolute rocket by Aiden O’Neill who took the game into his own hands with an impressive strike from distance.
Locked at 2-2, the Mariners continued to press for the winner as play opened up and both teams bombed into the front third.
However, in the 95th minute of play, Ikonomidis doubled his tally for the evening and sunk the hearts of the Mariners with a last-ditch goal to make it 3-2.
The Yellow & Navy will have their chance to bounce back at home this Saturday, hosting Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is 5:35pm. They will need to do it without Kalifa Cisse who received his second yellow card of the night in the 94th minute.
12’ IKONOMIDIS GOAL (1-0): The attack started from a perfect lobbed through ball from Neil Kilkenny. Kilkenny’s ball hit Joel Chianese on the right side of the box who volleyed back across the face where Ikonomidis was waiting to finish his point-blank strike.
36’ MRCELA OWN GOAL (1-1): After two attacking forays on the right by Millar, the Mariners were repaid in the form of an own goal by Tomislav Mrcela. A nice ball into the box by Andrew Hoole was bound for McCormack but a lunging Mrcela tipped the ball past Liam Reddy to level the scores.
61’ LOWRY GOAL: (2-1): Kilkenny also played a hand in Glory’s second goal of the night. His ball into the box was right on the money which allowed Lowry to leap above the pack and head home.
68’ O’NEILL GOAL (2-2): The loanee from Burnley pulled the trigger on a screamer. With the ball falling to him 25-yards-out, O’Neill’s first-time strike flew into the top corner.
95’ IKONOMIDIS GOAL (3-2): Heartbreaking. All three goals had a hand from Kilkenny. This time his cross found Ikonomidis at the back post who fired into the top of the net.
“Sometimes when your luck’s out, your luck’s out,” Mulvey said. “At the end of the day, absolutely gutted for the boys because they put in a great shift today. We’ve not quite got it right, we’re still conceding goals where the opposition doesn’t need to do too much.
“We put in a really good effort today, we came from behind twice. They score in the 95th minute, the lads didn’t deserve that. But, you need to give credit to Perth. It’s not the first time they’ve done that this season. It’s a difficult place to come – on the one hand I’m proud but we’re gutted.
“We’ve worked hard on the training paddock, we came here with a different set up and I thought it worked pretty well. There’s some guys who really stood up and that’s what I wanted.
“We got back into the game when we were 1-0 down, we forced a mistake. We were then too deep on a cross and conceded but we got ourselves back in the game again. Then you can write your own story with what happened in the last couple of minutes.
“We were close to getting a deserved point today, so we won’t let our heads drop too far, we won’t feel sorry for ourselves. We will work hard, get back to Gosford next week and aim for three points against Sydney.
“Once we got the goal, you could see the belief amongst the squad which was really noticeable. I don’t think a 2-2 draw would have been unjust,” Mulvey said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Antony GOLEC, 7.Andrew HOOLE (8.Michael McGLINCHEY 62’), 11.Connor PAIN (19.Matt SIMON 87’), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 15.Kye ROWLES, 18.Matt MILLAR (25.Jordan MURRAY 78’), 20.Kalifa CISSE, 22.Jacob MELLING, 44.Ross McCORMACK
Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 4.Jake McGING
Yellow cards: Melling 11’
Red cards: Cisse 94’
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT (6.Dino DJULBIC 45’), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE (7.Diego CASTRO 74’), 9.Andy KEOGH, 15.Brandon WILSON (20.Jack BRIMMER 79’), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY
Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk) & 22.Fabio FERREIRA
Yellow cards: Keogh 14’, Lowry 69’, Castro 82’, Davidson 93’
Sunday, 25 November 2018
nib Stadium, Perth
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners