Glory too good in Gosford

CC Mariners vs Perth Glory

The Central Coast Mariners have fallen to a Premiers Plate bound Perth Glory 3-0 at Central Coast Stadium, courtesy of goals to Joel Chianese, Dino Djulbic and Neil Kilkenny.

Central Coast Mariners 0 Perth Glory 3 (Chianese 12’, Djulbic 29’ & Kilkenny 58’)

The run down

It was a bright start for Perth as Kennedy denied Keogh from the edge of the box with an outstretched leg in the third minute of play. It was a tight affair as both sides battled it out in the midfield trying to create an opportunity. Perth however, had majority of the chances that troubled the Mariners’ defence.

It took Glory just 12 minutes to open the scoring when Joel Chianese drilled his effort past Kennedy to give Glory the lead. The Mariners were fired up and were able to make a few forays into the box with Jordan Murray having the pick of the chances, however unable to capitalise.

In the 29th minute, a Glory corner saw Dino Djulbic double Glory’s tally as he smashed his header home. The second goal deflated the Mariners as the Yellow and Navy struggled to get past a formidable Glory midfield. The frustrated Mariners could not grab an equaliser before the half time break.

The second half saw the introduction of Connor Pain as Alen Stajcic looked for a bit more firepower in the final third. Despite a good period by the Mariners where they were able to make the Glory sit deep, the Glory managed to win a penalty in the 57th minute. Midfielder Neil Kilkenny made no mistake from the spot and added a third for the Glory.

Perth almost added a fourth however Kennedy was able to keep the ball out and start a Mariners counter attack that saw Connor Pain unable to test Reddy on the end of a swift counter attack. In the 79th minute, a delivery by Andrew Hoole deflected off the first man and hit the crossbar with Aspropotamitis unable to head in the rebound. The Mariners tried their best for the remaining minutes of the match but could not test the Glory as the referee blew full time.

GOALS:

12’ CHIANESE GOAL (1-0): Chianese dribbled into the box and fired his shot it into the bottom corner. A smart finish.

29’ DJULBIC GOAL (2-0): An unlikely goal scorer, defender Dino Djulbic lurched forward for a set piece. He leaped above the pack and headed home from the corner.

58’ KILKENNY GOAL (3-0): Kilkenny expertly put his penalty into the bottom corner after Diego Castro was fouled in the box.

Stajcic in the media
Click here to view Alen's full press conference

“I don’t think we were on the back foot, we were on the scoreline but not in terms of the game," Stajcic said. "Since I’ve been here for the three games we have had more of the ball, more patches of play.

"They scored off two set pieces and they have that little bit of quality with Castro and Ikonimidis. In terms of the patterns of the game I thought it was 50/50, they had more scoring moments and the scoreline reflects that. I was happy we had a go and kept going right to the end and had them pinned back right towards the end. There was 20 minutes where we dominated and had a few half chances where we hit the crossbar. The fact we had those chances was really pleasing.

“There just needs to be better defending in those areas, during set pieces and when Castro had the ball in the box which we can’t defend like that. I’m pleased with the boys, in midfield we were good, created some good chances it was just those final moments that weren’t there. We need to build that quality and belief so the boys can back themselves a little bit more. There’s enough good starting points for the next three weeks.”

“Defensively we’ve showed in the first two weeks we improved a lot, last week was an example of that and this week we decided to be a bit more risky and try and go at Perth which leaves you a bit more open but we seemed to start controlling the game. They tried to control the game, it's against the ladder leaders who've only lost a few games all season. I think they dominated Victory more last weekend than what they did today and sometimes the score line doesn’t reflect that. We just need to work on those key moments in defence and attack.”

"We weren’t prepared to sit back, we had a go at them with our fullbacks Matt and Jack were really good. To have that kind of spirit and willingness to keep going is the pleasing part but we just need the quality to go with it.

“For me it was all about setting a foundation for the team moving forward, not just for this year but for next. I want to see which players can be apart of this club to be competitive next year. We have set a good foundation in defence and this week was the first time we started working on our build up play and I got to see it today. We have three difficult games coming up, Victory one of the best sides in the comp next week, Wanderers and City at the end. Tough run in but I've got a lot of belief after today.”

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3. Jack CLISBY, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 15. Kye ROWLES, 18. Matthew MILLER, 19. Matthew SIMON (8. Michael MCGLINCHEY 81’), 22. Jacob MELLING, 25. Jordan MURRAY (7. Andrew HOOLE 67’), 29. Stephen MALLON (11. Connor PAIN 46’)

Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 28. Samuel GRAHAM

Yellow cards: O’NEILL 4’, ROWLES 20’

Perth Glory: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 3. Jason DAVIDSON (23. Scott NEVILLE 82’), 4. Shane LOWRY, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Joel CHIANESE (11. Brendan SANTALAB 72’), 9. Andrew KEOGH, 13. Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 19. Christopher IKONOMIDIS (17. Diego CASTRO 46’), 27. JUANDE, 88. Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1. Tando VELAPHI & 20. Jake BRIMMER

Yellow cards: DAVIDSON 25’, JUANDE 40’

Sunday, 7 April 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Crowd: 3744
Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory

Mariners rue missed opportunities in 0-1 loss to Adelaide

After failing to capitalise on their promise in the front third, a 10-men Central Coast Mariners were narrowly edged 0-1 by Adelaide United at Central Coast Stadium.

A lonely first half goal to Isaias would ultimately decide the affair, with the Mariners unable to find the back of their net with their 10 shots throughout the match. Their two best chances fell in the first half when Jordan Murray headed straight at Paul Izzo from close range and Aiden O’Neill rattled the cross bar from the edge of the area.

Next home game vs Perth Glory

Central Coast Mariners 0 Adelaide United 1 (Isaias 35’)

The run down

Both sides came out firing with attacking intent in the opening period of the game. A great chance fell to Jordan Murray who couldn’t convert his diving header from a Matt Millar cross. Adelaide boasted majority of the possession but it was the Mariners that looked more threatening. Aiden O’Neill found the crossbar and Jem Karacan's goal bound shot was cleared by the head of Michael Jakobsen.

Despite having the better chances, the Yellow and Navy were left stunned after an Isaias volley gave Adelaide the lead. The Mariners continued to search for the much deserved equaliser with Stephen Mallon causing problems for Adelaide’s Scott Galloway, but they went into the break a goal down.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first as Adelaide kept the ball and the Mariners bombed forward. Ben Kennedy stepped up to pull off a great save to deny a prime one-on-one opportunity that fell to Craig Goodwin.

For the Mariners as a whole, it was a stoic defensive effort to keep Adelaide to only a slim run of opportunities in front of goal.

The Yellow and Navy however, struggled to find the back of the net and capitalise on their chances. The Mariners’ job was made even harder when Karacan was shown a second yellow for a dangerous challenge, which reduced the home side to 10 men with 20 minutes to go.

The Mariners kept pushing in search of the equaliser and Matt Millar continued to be a threat for the Yellow and Navy after several great crosses caused problems for Adelaide.

There were two chances in the dying stages for the Mariners to bag an equaliser through an Andrew Hoole free-kick and a Connor Pain shot at goal, but the Yellow and Navy ultimately fell 1-0.

GOAL:

35’ ISAIAS GOAL (0-1): A clearance by Aspropotamitis found its way to Isaias at the edge of the box who volleyed into the bottom corner.

Stajcic in the media
Click here to watch Alen's full press conference

“We had four very good chances in the first half and like all football matches you have to take those chances. I was pleased we created those chances, but it was a game of very few chances, and it was decided by the one goal. There’s lots of things to be pleased about, there’s things we can keep improving and we have a good foundation now to build on. Defensively we were solid and structurally we were disciplined. Even with 10 men there was a lot of hard work and spirit. There was little bit more belief with the ball in patches in the game but if we keep improving from now with the ball, I think we are going to be very competitive.

“There was nothing I was overly frustrated with, I saw what we worked on in training and when you see that come to life in a game against a really good opponent and to nullify them to three or four chances over the whole game shows we can apply what is done in training. Hopefully that builds a little bit of resilience and belief. It was a bit hard to get forward after Jem got sent off, but we worked hard and were still a threat. It was pleasing rather than frustrating.”

“That’s football, I tend not to worry about the score line rather the process of what you’re trying to do and the things you want to implement in the match, and I thought we did that well. There was a high level of discipline and determination to stick to the game plan and the players showed a lot of character. They kept going and showed the elements of the game even with 10 men. Matty Millar was a threat right until the end and Simon gets around a lot which is pleasing.

“This isn’t hard to bounce back from, they put everything into the game, and we lost 1-0. There is a belief in the team now that our structures and patterns of play can be effective against anyone and Adelaide are as good a team as anyone in the top six. I have a lot of belief that we can keep improving and as I said be competitive against anyone.”

“I want to play against Perth, they’re the bench mark of the competition this year and were excellent last night despite losing. It’ll be a great test for the team and if we can get through a test like that than that will add more belief into the team, Stajcic said.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3. Jack CLISBY, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Aiden O’NEILL (8. Michael McGLINCHEY 80’), 15. Kye RWOLES, 18. Matt MILLAR, 25. Jordan MURRAY (7. Andrew Hoole 68’), 29. Stephen MALLON (19. Matt SIMON 59’), 68. Kem KARACAN (C)

Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK), 22. Jacob MELLING

Yellow cards: KARACAN 34’, 72’, ROWLES 90’

Adelaide United: 20. Paul IZZO (GK), 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Ryan STRAIN (26. Ben HALLORAN 17’), 7. Ryan KITTO, 8. ISAIAS (c), 11. Craig GOODWIN (6. Vince LIA 90’), 14. George BLACKWOOD (9. Jordy THOMASSEN 74’), 22. Michael JAKOBSEN, 31. Mirko BOLAND, 33. Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS

Substitutes not used: 1. Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 16. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS

Yellow cards: GOODWIN 52’

Sunday, 31 March 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Crowd: 4683
Central Coast Mariners vs. Adelaide United

Mariners win #F3Derby thriller

CC Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners have emerged 3-2 victors in an historic #F3Derby with goals from Jordan Murray, Connor Pain and Jem Karacan, and two incredible penalty saves from Ben Kennedy.

Newcastle Jets 2 (O’Donovan 74’, Vargas 81’) Central Coast Mariners 3 (Murray 51’, Karacan 64’, Pain 67’)

The run down

It was the start of a new era for the Mariners with Alen Stajcic at the helm for an F3 Derby like no other.

It was a tough start for both sides as wet conditions forced the teams into a battle of attrition.

The Jets were on the front foot and kept the Mariners deep, but the Central Coast defence held firm.

Half an hour in, Ben Kennedy was forced into a terrific save from a Steven Ugarkovic volley which looked destined for the top corner.

The Jets continued with the momentum and could have had the lead if not for a terrific block from Jem Karacan. A Dimi Petratos shot thundered off the post and into the path of Jair, but Karacan was equal to it, sending the game to the half scoreless.

Newcastle came out on the front foot in the second half, but the Mariners’ first chance changed the game. A brilliant ball from Matthew Millar sent Jordan Murray behind the defence, and he made no mistake with the finish, squeezing it under Glen Moss.

Some sloppy play in Newcastle’s defensive third allowed Central Coast to strike again. Millar picked up the ball, dribbled past several Jets defenders and put a cross in which was deflected into the path of Karacan who thundered it home.

The second goal changed the tide of the game and another counter by the Mariners saw Jack Clisby make a run down the left, play Murray in the middle who touched it on to Connor Pain, squeezing his shot past a helpless Moss.

The Jets were eager to try and find their way back into the game and were given a lifeline when former Mariner Roy O’Donovan got on the end of a teasing cross and poked it home.

The momentum was all with Newcastle and were pushing the Mariners’ defence to their limits.

A long ball by Daniel Georgievski was well controlled by Nigel Boogaard, and his shot was parried by Kennedy into path of Ronald Vargas who made it a nail-biting finish to the game.

The last few minutes of the game were action packed as the Jets gave everything they had.

Jem Karacan was able to break up large amounts of Newcastle’s build up play and frustrated the home side. Newcastle thought they had equalised at the death as a Kaine Sheppherd shot was blocked on the line by Sam Graham.

The drama continued well into injury time, with the Jets awarded a penalty for a foul by Aspro on Roy O’Donovan.

His first attempt was saved by Ben Kennedy, before the rebound was poked home by Georgievski, only to have been found to be encroaching.

The Irishman was ordered to re-take, and aimed it bottom left again, only to be saved yet again by Ben Kennedy to earn the Mariners a famous #F3Derby win in Newcastle.

GOALS:

51’ MURRAY GOAL (0-1): A wonderful through ball by Matt Millar put in Jordan Murray who calmly slotted the ball past Moss.
64’ KARACAN GOAL (0-2): An amazing run by Matt Millar followed by a cross which was deflected into the path of Karacan who smashed in in the back of the net.
67’ PAIN GOAL (0-3): A cross by Clisby was laid off by Murray to Connor Pain who’s shot found the back of the net.
74’ O’DONOVAN GOAL (1-3): A low driven cross by Jackson was tapped in by Roy O’Donovan.
81’ VARGAS GOAL (2-3): A long ball by Georgievski was well controlled by Boogaard who’s low, driven shot was parried into the path of Ronald Vargas.

Stajcic in the media

You couldn’t pack in any more drama into ten minutes, could you?

To see the spirit and the effort and the way the lads went about their work, you could see they were fighting and scrapping for every moment; trying to win every ball, every challenge. Trying to pick themselves and the club up and everyone could see that.

I don’t think anyone could argue they didn’t give every bit of energy and effort and fortitude they had.

When you come off conceding 13 goals in the last couple of weeks, it makes sense that [defending] is a part of the game that needs to be addressed.

I’ve watched so many Mariners games this season where they’ve been the better team with the ball and dominated the game, and then moments they lose and they lose one or two or three goals in a hurry.

It’s something the team needs to address in terms of tactical shape and mentality as well. I think they did that tonight. I think it was fatigue more than mentality.

I’m really pleased with them and I know it’ll be a big relief for them to overcome the dark places they felt they were in during the week.

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3. Jack CLISBY, 6. Tom HIARIEJ (26. Joshua NISBET 68’), 11. Connor PAIN, 18. Matthew MILLAR, 22. Jacob MELLING (23. Mario SHABOW 77’), 25. Jordan MURRAY, 28. Sam GRAHAM, 29. Stephen MALLON (17. Peter KEKERIS 90’), 68. Jem KARACAN (c)

Substitutes not used: 24. Joe GAUCI (GK), 33. Lewis MILLER

Yellow cards: KENNEDY 83’

Newcastle Jets: 1. Glen MOSS (GK), 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC (14. Kaine SHEPPARD 72’), 7. Dimi PETRATOS, 8. JAIR (11. Kwabena APPIAH 66’), 9. Roy O’DONOVAN, 16. Nick COWBURN, 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 22. Lachlan JACKSON, 23. Matt RIDENTON (10. Ronald VARGAS 58’), 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY

Substitutes not used: 20. Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 32. Angus THURGATE

Yellow cards: O’DONOVAN 35’, COWBURN 43’, BOOGAARD 90+7’

Saturday, 16 March 2019
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners

Alen Stajcic appointed Caretaker Coach

CC Mariners media release

Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah

CCM Media Release & Media Opportunity: Alen Stajcic appointed Caretaker Coach

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Alen Stajcic has been appointed as Caretaker Coach of the Mariners for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.

A name that needs no introduction within Australian football circles, Stajcic most notably coached the Matildas (Australian National Team) from 2014 – 2019.

‘Staj’ as he is affectionately known, won the W-League Coach of the Year award twice (2010/11 & 2013/14) during his time with Sydney FC. Stajcic’s successful spell at Sydney FC was also recognised with an induction to the Club’s Hall of Fame.

Amongst his list of impressive accolades as a Head Coach are also Coach of the Year honours at the prestigious 2017 AIS Sport Performance Awards and nomination for FIFA Coach of the Year in 2018.

With six games remaining this season, Stajcic’s tenure commences immediately, with the details of his first training session still to be advised.

Upon his arrival on the Central Coast, Stajcic spoke about the determination to relish his newest challenge.

“I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners for providing me this opportunity,” Stajcic said. “This is a club with a very rich history, which is something that everyone is committed to restoring.

“We’re well aware of the hard work ahead of us, but that starts now. I relish a challenge and can’t wait to get started,” Stajcic said.

Central Coast Mariners Sporting Director Mike Phelan spoke about the focus of the next six weeks and welcomed Alen to the Club.

“Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Alen to the Mariners,” Phelan said. “Speaking with Alen and the board, there are two key elements we need to ensure over the next six weeks – that’s stability and harmony.

“Alen is an experienced coach, he has experience at the highest level coaching his country and is held in high esteem for what he achieved on the international stage.

“What we need right now is a manager who can take the helm during a crucial period. We recognise the skills Alen has and the Club is confident that he will be able to draw on those skills for the advantage of the Mariners.

“His role is to stabilise, bring everyone together – that includes the players and the staff. He will see us through until the end of the season and help position the football club going forward.

“At the end of the season, we will assess the situation but Alen’s role at the moment is to generate some momentum leading into the back end of the season – we will discuss the future during that time, and at the end of that time,” Phelan said.

Mariners 2-8 Phoenix

Mariners vs Phoenix

The Central Coast Mariners have fallen 8-2 at the hands of Wellington Phoenix, with Jack Clisby & Stephen Mallon giving the fans a minor consolation with two stunning strikes

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Clisby 61’ & Mallon 69’) Wellington Phoenix 8 (Graham OG 8’, Krishna 12’, 45’, Williams 21’, Cacace 51’, Singh 57’, 88’, Fenton 59’)

The run down

Despite the Mariners encouraging start, the Phoenix were able to grab the lead as a Krishna cross was helped into the net by Sam Graham. Wellington were quick to double their tally after Krishna chipped Ben Kennedy from range 12 minutes in.

The Mariners still managed to control possession despite the score line and were desperate to try and get back in the game. In the 22nd minute, a defensive error saw Singh steal the ball and put Williams through on goal, who fired his shot into the top corner.

As the half carried on, the Yellow and Navy managed to hold on after a handful of saves from Kennedy. The Mariners were able to create some momentum in their search to pull one back, but they were hit on the counter as Krishna doubled his tally right before the break. It was 4-0 at half time.

Six minutes into the second half, Cacace fired home a Krishna cross. Singh continued his good form and featured on the scoresheet five minutes later. Shortly after, Louis Fenton made it seven for the Phoenix.

The Yellow and Navy were able to pull one back after Clisby’s shot went in off the post from distance. With 10 minutes to go, Stephen Mallon scored his first A-League goal with a well placed set piece.

The momentum stayed with the Mariners for the dying stages, with the score line looking likely to keep increasing as the game opened up. Although, the Mariners were caught out committing numbers forward and were hit on the counter as Singh made it 8-2 for the Nix.

GOALS

8’ Graham Own Goal (0-1): A dangerous cross by Krishna deflected off Graham for an own goal.

12’ Krishna Goal (0-2): Krishna chipped Ben Kennedy from range after a great over the top through ball.

22’ Williams Goal (0-3): David Williams fired into the top corner after linking up with Singh’s through ball.

45’ Krishna Goal (0-4): Burgess fed Krishna on goal and despite an initial save by Kennedy he was able to convert the rebound.

51’ Cacace Goal (0-5): Cacace calmly slotted home Krishna’s low driven cross.

57’ Singh Goal (0-6): Singh dribbled his way through the Mariners’ defence and placed his shot in bottom corner.

59’ Fenton Goal (0-7): Fenton was played in by Singh and coolly slotted his shot into the back of the net.

61’ Clisby Goal (1-7): A distant shot by Clisby curled past Kurto and in off the post. A cracking right footer.

69’ Mallon Goal (2-7): Mallon powered in a wonderful free kick from distance. He curled his strike over the wall to give Mariners fans something to cheer about.

88’ Singh Goal (2-8): Singh found himself free after a scramble in the box and converted his chance.

Mulvey in the media.

click here to view Mike Mulvey’s full press conference:

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3. Jack CLISBY, 8. Michael McGLINCHEY (c) (27. Charles M’MOMBWA 53’), 18. Matthew MILLAR (33. Lewis MILLAR 60’), 22. Jacob MELLING, 25. Jordan MURRAY, 26. Joshua NISBET (17. Peter KEKERIS 77’), 28. Samuel GRAHAM, 29. Stephen MALLON, 68. Jem KARACAN

Substitutes not used: 24. Joe GAUCI (GK) & 34. Michael GLASSOCK

Yellow cards: Karacan 23’, Murray 34’, Nisbet 41’, Melling 54’,

Wellington Phoenix: 1. Filip KURTO (GK), 4. Armando SOSA PENA (32. Gianni STENSNESS 87’), 11. David WILLIAMS (7. Cillian SHERIDAN 80’), 12. Antony GOLEC, 13. Liberato CACACE, 15. Michal KOPCZYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON (17. Callon ELLIOT 66’), 18. Sarpreet SINGH, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Max BURGESS

Substitutes not used: 20. Oliver SAIL (GK) & 5. Ryan LOWRY

Yellow cards: Singh 33’, Kopczynski 36’,

Saturday, 9 March 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix