(apologies for the lateness of this report)
Despite scoring the opener in an impressive first half, the Central Coast Mariners were forced to play with 10 men for majority of the match and defeated 5-2 by Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium
Sydney FC 5 (Brosque 49’, 58’ & 64’, Le Fondre 51’ & Calver 89') Central Coast Mariners 2 (Pain 16’ & O’Neill 67’)
The run down
From the first whistle, it was all Central Coast Mariners who took the game to Sydney away from home. Connor Pain & Matty Millar were flying down the flanks, causing havoc for the sky blue back four who were struggling to cope with the pace.
The Mariners earned their reward in the 16th minute when Pain combined with Simon for the opening goal. A great piece of play finished off by a sizzling strike.
But then, the game was turned on its head when Kalifa Cisse picked up two yellow cards in the 23rd and 26th minute which forced the Mariners to play majority of the game with 10 men.
Mulvey’s men held their heads high and finished the half in the same way they started it, creating several opportunities and earning their half time lead.
Sydney came out of the blocks fast and had their equaliser through Alex Brosque in the 49th minute, the first of his hat-trick.
The game then took a vicious turn away from the Mariners when a harsh penalty was awarded against Jacob Melling who was deemed to have fouled in the box. Le Fondre converted the penalty.
A goal and a man down, the Mariners continued to fight and doubled their tally for the night when Millar’s ball found Aiden O’Neill in the box who fired into the bottom corner.
Two more goals to Alex Brosque and a strike to Aaron Calver saw Sydney round out 5-2 winners.
16’ PAIN GOAL (0-1): Cutting in from the left, Pain combined well with Matt Simon who played the ball into Pain. Still with plenty of work to do, Pain smashed his left footer past a hapless Andrew Redmayne.
49’ BROSQUE GOAL (1-1): A ball in from the right hit the feet of Brosque who moved fast to flick past Kennedy from close range.
51’ LE FONDRE GOAL (2-1): Le Fondre stepped up to convert his spot kick.
58’ BROSQUE GOAL (3-1): Kennedy moved well to make the initial save but Brosque was on hand to tap home from point blank.
64’ BROSQUE GOAL (4-1): A delicate chip, Brosque found the back of the net with a well weighted lob shot.
67’ O’NEILL GOAL (4-2): Another goal from Matty Millar’s hard work on the right, our wing back’s ball hit the feet of O’Neill who directed his first time shot into the bottom corner.
89’ CALVER GOAL (5-2): A cross to the back post found Calver who volleyed home at the death.
Mulvey in the media
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and we can break that into two parts. Up until the send off and after the send off. We adjusted quite well and we definitely deserved to be in front at half time. We played some fantastic football, we had them on the back foot and the send off changed everything.
“The send off changed the game. We asked the guys to produce a performance and from the get go we certainly did it. We were adventurous, we played Connor wide left and Matty wide right, we really tried to get at them and pin back their centre backs. It paid dividends with a fantastic goal to Connor and we deserved that. But, then we get the send off, it’s backs to the walls.
“I don’t know any current or ex-footballer that would give that if they were in that position, the VAR bunker [penalty decision]. I’ve spoken to my player and I’m being backed up by what I actually saw from 60 metres away, that he cleanly got the ball. The penalty was given before the ball even rolled off the pitch, the referee was in a good position and he gave it straight away. It then goes to VAR, that needs to be looked at. It wasn’t the third or fourth goal, it was the second goal. When we concede that goal the heads go down, we’re down to 10 players, it was a battle from there.
“But the players gave everything, we’ve been beaten 5-2 at the end of the day which is a bad score line but the penalty and send off changed everything.
“There will be something happening in the next few days,” Mulvey said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 15. Kye ROWLES, 25. Jordan MURRAY, 18. Matthew MILLAR, , 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 4. Jake McGING,. Andrew HOOLE (6.Tom HIARIEJ 76’), 11. Connor PAIN (10.Tommy OAR 61’), 19. Matthew SIMON (c), 20. Kalif CISSE, 22. Jacob MELLING, (23.Mario SHABOW 57’)
Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 8. Michael McGLINCHEY
Yellow cards: Cisse 23’ & 26’, Simon 41’, Mulvey 64’, O’Neill 80’
Red cards: Cisse 26’
Sydney FC: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE (18.Jacob TRATT 72’), 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c) (31.Luke IVANOVIC 81’), 22.Siem DE JONG (17. Anthony CACERES 71’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Alex CISAK (gk) & 24.Cam DEVLIN
Yellow cards: nil
Friday, 3 January 2019
Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners