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Early goal the difference as Mariners fall to Western

The Mariners fell to Western United on Saturday night, as an early goal from Connor Pain was enough for the hosts to prevail despite plenty of second half pressure from Alen Stajcic’s side in Launceston.

Stajcic made one change from the last match against Wanderers 10 days ago, as a foot complaint ruled out Daniel De Silva with Michal Janota coming in as his replacement.

The Pole was involved early on as the Mariners generated some pressure, but it was the hosts who snatched the lead as Connor Pain ghosted in from the left after linking up with Besart Berisha, and continued his run across the edge of the box before poking the ball home to make it 1-0.

After the goal Western applied pressure, and the hosts held the ascendancy for large periods of the half, and Mark Birighitti did well to deny Pain and then Iker Guarrotxena to keep the Mariners in it.

The Mariners grew into the game though as the half wore on, and Daniel Bouman had a chance smothered by Ryan Scott from a tight angle after brilliant pass from Janota.

The second half brought a different feel, with the Mariners looking much better to begin the final 45 minutes. Stajcic made two changes early on as Janota and Bouman made way for Jaden Casella and Josh Nisbet in the attacking midfield roles and the Mariners began to control proceedings.

Ruon Tongyik had been issued a soft yellow card earlier in the game, and was shown a second as he collided with Connor Pain off the ball, however there was confusion as the referee then rescinded the second yellow card for an offside call, and the Mariners remained at full strength.

This gave the visitors some fuel to their fire and soon after, Simon flashed a shot into the side netting from a narrow angle before Nisbet had a shot blocked from outside the box after the ball broke to him from a misplaced Mariners free kick.

The introduction of Alou Kuol for Simon added further pace up front and he almost made it count with a terrific run in behind but his fierce effort was saved at the near post by the leg of Scott.

Oliver Bozanic and Jack Clisby had chances as time wore on, but it was not to be as Western saw out the final minutes to claim victory in Tasmania.

Attention now turns to next Saturday’s huge clash with Sydney FC at Central Coast Stadium where the Mariners will be looking to bounce back in front of a bumper home crowd.


The Mariners are back on the Central Coast for two home games, taking on Sydney FC and then Brisbane Roar in a pair of A-League blockbusters.

Accredited media and photographers are invited to attend both matches, but must abide by COVID-19 protocols.

Attending media MUST INFORM David Jordan of their attendance to the matches via return email or on 0429 181 246.

The post-match press conferences will be via ZOOM ONLY. Media are asked to advise if they require the link, which will be sent out on match day.

A-League Match Week 18 |
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Saturday, 24th April
5:05pm kick-off

A-League Match Week 18 |
Central Coast Mariners v Brisbane Roar
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Wednesday, 28th April
7:05pm kick-off

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Mariners dominate but held to draw at Bankwest

The Mariners came away from Bankwest with a point on Tuesday night, as goals from Matt Simon and Oliver Bozanic helped them to a 2-2 draw on the back of a dominant performance.

Simon struck first before Bruce Kamau scored a brace to put the hosts ahead, and Bozanic levelled proceedings from the penalty spot on a night where the Mariners had chances but could not find the finishing touch.

Alen Stajcic again named an unchanged starting lineup and his side started strongly from the outset, and looked dangerous moving forward.

It was the visitors who struck first, 23 minutes in, and it was a goal built from the back. Mark Birighitti found Stefan Nigro in plenty of space, and he in turn played Marco Urena who had dropped back to near halfway.

The Costa Rican turned and drove forward at pace, and with Danny DeSilva providing a supporting run on the left, played it through to Simon who remained onside and finished the move with a delightful chip over Daniel Margush to score.

Minutes later a second could have followed as Urena had a shot blocked and the ball ended up back with Bouman but his effort was saved by Margush, and the Wanderers escaped.

Rowles and Tongyik were winning everything in the middle and Birighitti was rarely challenged in the first half, but saved comfortably when called upon as the Mariners headed into the break up by a goal.

Western Sydney had plenty of the ball to begin the second half but threatened sparingly, and the Mariners again began to take the game to the hosts.

Birighitti made a massive save down low from Mitch Duke just before the half hour mark, and then Alou Kuol and Josh Nisbet were introduced with 29 minutes to play and looked to cause problems straight away.

Bouman had a header saved by Margush from a corner, and then Jack Clisby’s shot was cleared off the line by Thomas Aquilina as the Mariners huffed and puffed but could not find the finishing touch.

It would come back to bite with 16 minutes to play, Aquilina’s cross finding Kamau in the middle of the area to slide home an equaliser.

Four minutes later it was two, Kamau driving forward after Gianni Stensness headed wide from a corner and Kamau’s deflected strike wrongfooted Birighitti before burying in the corner.

The Mariners looked to respond quickly, and Kuol created havoc for the Wanderers defenders, and when he appeared to be taken out in the air by Keanu Baccus the VAR intervened, with Chris Beath awarding a spot kick after a look at the screen.

Bozanic made no mistake from the penalty spot to even scores, and although both teams had chances late the ledger would finish all square.

The Mariners now have an extended break ahead of a trip to Tasmania to face Western United, and will return home for a huge clash with Sydney FC on Saturday, 24th April.


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 Mariners overpower Adelaide to go clear on top
Gosford was rocking on Thursday night as the Mariners completed a come from behind win against Adelaide United to move clear once more at the top of the A-League table.
In front of 5053 fans, Oliver Bozanic and Alou Kuol struck in the second half to cancel out Kusini Yengi’s opener and the Mariners had two spot kicks saved by Joe Gauci.
Alen Stajcic named an unchanged side from the draw against Melbourne Victory, and the Mariners had the first big chance of the match when Kye Rowles’ header appeared to strike a hand, and after a VAR check the spot kick was awarded.
Gauci saved the penalty from Matt Simon with a trailing leg though, and Simon was again denied a seventh goal of the season a few minutes later when his header ended up in the net but the passage of play was called back for offside.
Danny DeSilva had a shot blocked down one end before Gianni Stensness and Kye Rowles gave an Adelaide strike the same treatment at the other, and the two sides headed into half time goalless.
It took only three second half minutes for the visitors to find the lead though, Ben Halloran crossed from the right wing to find Yengi and his first time effort squeezed under Mark Birighitti.
The Mariners pushed though and began to dominate proceedings, and just before the hour mark were given another way back into the game as another penalty was awarded for handball following a VAR check.
Bozanic took it this time but Gauci got down low to his right to keep it up and keep the visitors in the lead.
With a vocal home crowd pushing them on the Mariners would not be denied, and the introductions of Kuol and Josh Nisbet with 26 minutes to play provided a huge burst of energy.
Bozanic picked up a loose ball way outside the area with 18 minutes left, and faked one defender before creating space to shoot and rifled an effort with his non-preferred right boot low and hard past Gauci to bring the Mariners level.
That provided another spark, and with momentum firmly on the Mariners side it was the substitutes who combined next.
A deflected through ball to Josh Nisbet looked to have been claimed by Gauci, only for the midfielder to harry him and force a loss of possession, before he kept his cool to square the ball back for Kuol who smashed the ball home to give the Mariners the lead.
From there the Mariners held firm against the Reds as they pushed for an equaliser, and saw out five minutes of stoppage time to snap a three-match winless run and move four points clear on the table.
Next up is a blockbuster clash against Wanderers on Tuesday, and you can join the boys there by booking a spot on the bus to Bankwest! 
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Dominant Mariners share points on the Coast

The Mariners dominated proceedings at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night, but were unable to find a late winner in a 1-1 draw with Melbourne Victory.

Gianni Stensness came back into the starting side from an injury absence, while Dan Bouman also started the game and Josh Nisbet began the clash on the bench.

The ladder leaders started the match well but were caught out 20 minutes in from a set piece in midfield. There was confusion as the linesman flagged for offside and the referee’s whistle blew, but it was in fact for a Victory free kick.

The ball was sprayed wide to McManaman, now in space, and he drove into the box before firing into the far corner.

But the hosts responded well to going behind, and it took only 11 minutes for an equalising goal. Bouman did brilliantly well to dummy and turn his marker on the right wing, and burst into space. He played Marco Urena in behind with a perfect pass and the Costa Rican made no mistake, firing across Matt Acton to pull the Mariners level.

Bouman was in inspired form and won a free kick as he beat Traore to a ball on the edge of the box, but Jack Clisby’s effort clipped the wall and the ball pinballed around before Urena fired just over.

Nisbet replaced Stensness at the break and the Mariners came out firing and looking for a goal, and six minutes into the second half they came oh so close.

Urena and Simon put massive pressure on the Victory backline and Simon got to a slow backpass first to beat Acton but his effort drifted agonisingly close before the Victory cleared.

A home crowd of 5,730 roared the Mariners on as they pushed, and chances came and went including an effort from Oliver Bozanic that fizzed just over the bar with Acton beaten.

Michal Janota and Alou Kuol were introduced with time winding down and the Mariners pushing for the win, while Victory appeared content to slow the game right down and take a point.

Clisby forced one last save from Acton as he tipped an effort over the bar but it was not to be as the visitors clung on to grab a share of the points.

For the Mariners, the boys now focus on a game against Adelaide at home on Friday that is sure to be full of emotion after the last meeting between the two.


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Central Coast Mariners FC

Wednesday, 24th March

Central Coast Mariners Seating and Active Support update

The Central Coast Mariners can today provide an update to Members and fans attending any A-League fixture at Central Coast Stadium in regard to seating and capacity.

Following consultation with relevant parties and feedback from our Members, we can confirm that seating restrictions will be eased to increase the stadium capacity beginning with Saturday’s clash against Melbourne Victory.

This involves the following changes to the match day experience:

General Admission seating areas will return to regular seating capacity (groups are asked to keep 1-2 seats between themselves and other groups)
Active support is no longer restricted, and standing, singing and chanting is encouraged.
Concession items such as large flags, drums or other musical items are permitted with prior approval.
Reserved seating areas will remain in their current, socially distanced layouts.
Our aim is to provide a range of seating options so that patrons can select their preferred option and have the best matchday experience possible. Member feedback has indicated that reserved seating areas should remain socially distanced as they are, meaning that members will remain in their presently allocated seats for the remainder of the season, and will be given first option to return to their previous seats next season.

Mariners CEO Shaun Mielekamp said that he was looking forward to seeing a big crowd for Saturday’s game, and welcomed the changes to seating.

“I am really glad that general admission and active support sections are able to return to normal,” he said.

“Whilst we have the opportunity to return to full capacity across the stadium, I am confident that the changes we are making strike the right balance for us to ensure that anyone wanting to come to the game and maintain social distancing can do so comfortable by purchasing a reserved seating ticket.”

“We are looking for a big crowd on Saturday night and encourage all Mariners and Victory fans to come and cheer their team on in such an important game, and I am hoping to see passionate and active fans singing and cheering the boy’s home and I am also keen to see the happy smiles of our Members who are glad to be attending the game in a safe manner.”

These seating plans are specific to Central Coast Mariners A-League matches, and are not reflective of other venues or other events held at Central Coast Stadium.


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