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A tough night in Brisbane ended in defeat for the Mariners on Saturday night, with second half goals from Roy O’Donovan and Scott Neville enough for Brisbane Roar to take the three points.

The match started slowly with the hosts having the run of play early, but they were kept at bay by the Mariners’ backline and Mark Birighitti and the best chance of the opening exchanges fell to the visitors.

Birighitti denied Dylan Wenzel-Halls down one end and moments later Eunsun Kim was sent through on goal, only to thunder his effort against the crossbar as the Mariners went so close to a lead.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco fizzed an effort wide and Matt Simon was denied by Jamie Young after a good turn in the area, before it was Birighitti’s turn to again save the day as he produced a stunning one-on-one stop to deny O’Donovan racing towards the Mariners goal on the stroke of half-time.

Gallifuoco made a timely intervention moments later and the scores remained level at half-time, and chances were few and far between as the second period got underway.

Promising build-up play from the Mariners lead to a chance for Danny DeSilva on the edge of the area only for his chip to go high of Young’s goal and shortly after Birighitti stuck out a hand once more to deny Wenzel-Halls again.

The young forward created the Roar’s first goal two minutes later though, crossing past Kye Rowles and finding O’Donovan who managed to get a touch and send the ball past Birighitti and in.

Alen Stajcic made two immediate changes as Sam Silvera and Jordan Murray replaced DeSilva and Simon but they were unable to stop the Roar going two goals up as Neville headed home from a corner with 24 minutes left to play.

Silvera almost created a lifeline inside the final 10 minutes as he combined neatly with Lewis Miller to find space in the area but his shot was parried by Young and the rebound evaded Tommy Oar at the back post.

That was it for the Mariners though, and they will sit next weekend out with the bye before travelling to face Sydney FC on the road in round 10.

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The Central Coast Mariners claimed their first home win of the Hyundai A-League season on Sunday night, with a strong defensive effort keeping out Western United and ending a run of 38 games without a clean sheet.

Milan Duric started on the bench while Kye Rowles and Danny DeSilva returned to the lineup, and Lewis Miller and Eunsun Kim came into the side for their starting league debuts.

The game began at a tentative pace with neither side creating a clear cut opening in the first 20 minutes. Filip Kurto had to look lively to race off his line to prevent Tommy Oar latching onto a long ball from defence and on 25 minutes Mark Birighitti was forced into a spectacular save to prevent Dario Jertec putting Western United ahead.

From the resulting corner Ziggy Gordon blocked Andrew Durante’s header on the line as the Mariners fought to keep Western at bay and not long after Birighitti again made a spectacular save, this time to keep out a stinging free-kick from Alessandro Diamanti.

Link-up play from Diamanti and Besart Berisha helped create space for a pass to Panagiotis Kone at the back post but with plenty of space he smashed his effort well over the goal and the teams went in equal at the break.

The break came at the right time for the hosts and after forcing the ball into the Western United half after the restart they took the lead in the 49th minute.

A cross from the left was half cleared by Andrew Calver to Giancarlo Gallifuocco on the edge of the box and his first time strike was deflected past Kurto and in, handing the midfielder his first Hyundai A-League goal and the Mariners their 500th.

United almost pulled a goal back moments later when Appiah found himself with room down the right wing to cross for Berisha but he fired wide with the goal begging.

The visitors continued to push for the equaliser however found a resolute Mariners defence in fine form with Miller slotting in perfectly at right back to the joy of the home faithful.

Not content with their one goal advantage the Mariners pushed for a second to give them a little breathing space but were denied by a superb diving save by Kurto again as he took flight to keep out Jack Clisby’s curling effort from the top of the box.

United had a chance to steal a point in the last five minutes after Diamanti won the ball back on the edge of the box but once again the Italian could not find the net, flashing a right footed strike wide of the post.

The win sees the Mariners climb to sixth in the table, just a win behind Western United and preparations begin for next week’s trip to take on Brisbane in round eight.

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 Clinical Adelaide beat Mariners on the Coast

The Mariners fell to their first home defeat of the season on Saturday, going down 3-1 to Adelaide United after taking an early lead through Milan Ðurić at Central Coast Stadium.

Alen Stajcic made two changes to the side who faced Melbourne City in Round 4 with Jordan Murray coming in for Danny De Silva and Ruon Tongyik making his first start of the season in place of Kyle Rowes.

The game burst into life early on when Sam Silvera latched on onto a ball headed down on the edge of Adelaide’s area, and the winger took a deft touch to burst past the first challenge before being fouled by defender Michael Marrone and awarded a penalty.

It was Ðurić who stepped up and calmly dispatched his effort high into the net to give the Mariners an early advantage, his third goal of the season and becoming the first Mariner to score in three of the first five games since Matt Simon in 2008/09.

Adelaide drew level after 26 minutes when Michael Maria darted inside and fed Ben Halloran on the edge of the area and the winger exchanged passes with Riley McGree before firing low inside Mark Birighitti’s near post.

The Mariners almost regained the advantage when a short corner was worked to Tommy Oar and his cross to the back post was won in the air by Murray, only for his goal bound header to be cleared off the line by Michael Jakobsen.

Moments later the hosts were made to pay for their missed chance and fell behind to an impressive strike by Nikola Mileusnic.

A cut back by Maria found Mileusnic 12 yards out and he adjusted his body to side foot a volley past Birighitti into the top corner and put his side ahead.

The momentum swing further shortly after when Kristian Opseth got on the end of Halloran’s low cross to fire home after the latter was released by James Troisi’s searching clearance from the backline.

Oar was denied by Paul Izzo after the restart, seeing a speculative effort palmed over the bar from the corner of the box and the deficit remained two goals at the break.

Stajcic made one change at the half with young defender Lewis Miller replacing Dylan Fox in the backline, and the second half began quietly right up until the Reds were awarded a penalty as McGree went down under contact just before the hour mark.

But Birighitti was up to the task, staying low and saving the spot kick from Opseth with his legs to keep the score at 3-1 as the game entered the final 30 minutes.

Giancarlo Gallifuoco had a header saved by Izzo not long after as he got on the end of Silvera’s cross, and Matt Simon also had an effort saved by the visiting goalkeeper after coming on as the Mariners pushed to get back into the game.

That was how it finished though with Adelaide two-goal victors, and the Mariners are back home again next weekend as league newcomers Western United visit Central Coast Stadium.

Buy your tickets for that game now, with $2 from every ticket purchased going to support the Rural Fire Service.

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The Central Coast Mariners fell to Melbourne City on Friday night, going down 3-1 at AAMI Park as the Hyundai A-League’s Remembrance Round kicked off.

Both sides started well with City testing the Mariners in the opening minutes, but the first proper chance fell to Sam Silvera.

A long range strike from Jack Clisby deflected to the young winger who set himself quickly before stinging an effort inches wide of Dean Bouzanis’ goal.

The deadlock was broken after 17 minutes with the hosts taking the lead through a Curtis Good header. After Mark Birighitti tipped Scott Jamieson’s effort over the bar, the resulting corner saw Good stoop low to divert Lachie Wales’ whipped cross into the back of the net.

After a tight ten minute spell Tommy Oar burst down the left before skipping inside his marker and testing Bouzanis with a well struck shot which was cleared for a corner at the second attempt.

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The hosts began to step up the pressure in an attempt to double their advantage with Craig Noone striking the crossbar before Giancarlo Gallifuoco did well to block an effort from Adrian Luna, and the difference remained a goal at half time.

Eunsun Kim replaced Gallifuoco with Alen Stajcic’s first change early in the second half, but City doubled their advantage on the hour mark as Luna was first to Connor Metcalfe’s cross into the box.

20 minutes later City scored their third when a mis-hit set piece from the left was flicked towards goal by Delbridge. His strike was clawed away by a diving Birighitti who was helpless to prevent Rostyn Griffiths firing the rebound home.

Danny DeSilva came close to a late goal but his stinging effort went straight to Bouzanis, however he turned provider moments after, flicking the ball on to substitute Jordan Murray to rifle home under pressure with a composed finish.

After two weeks on the road the Mariners return to the coast and will look to bounce back against Adelaide United in Round six at Central Coast Stadium.

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Mariners share spoils in 48th #F3Derby

Central Coast Mariners 1 (Milan Djuric 5’) drew. Newcastle Jets 1 (Dimitri Petratos 56’)

The Central Coast Mariners got off the mark with their first point of the Hyundai A-League season, sharing the spoils 1-1 with #F3Derby rivals the Newcastle Jets.

Alen Stajcic named an unchanged starting team from the loss to Western Sydney last week and the hosts took an early lead through a familiar face when link up play between Jordan Murray and last week’s goalscorer Milan Djuric saw the latter become just the second Mariner to score in his first two games.

Murray latched onto a perfectly weighted Djuric through ball on the left before cutting inside onto his favoured right foot and repaying the favour with a floated cross that Duric volleyed first time past a helpless Moss and into the corner.

Shouts for a penalty 17 minutes in were denied by the Video Assistant Referee for the Mariners, and the Jets began to push their claim as the half wore on, but excellent defense from the Mariners backline held them out until the break.

The second half began at a frantic pace with the hosts coming close twice in two minutes., first through a Djuric free kick from the left that forced a big stop from Moss in the visitors net, and then a stunning run from Daniel DeSilva that ended with an effort cleared off the line by Millar.

Shortly after though the Jets were awarded a penalty for handball, but Mark Birighitti made an excellent diving to save to deny Dimi Petratos and keep the hosts ahead.

The save was reviewed though and Birighitti adjudged to have moved off his line, and Petratos put his retake safely into the corner to pull his side level.

A wonder save by Birighitti denied Millar a goal on his return with twenty minutes to go when he stretched across the goal to stop Millar’s volleyed effort, and Djuric almost won the game for the Mariners in the dying seconds as a fizzing drive struck the base of Moss’ goal and cannoned back out away from goal.

The Mariners now turn their attentions to Perth in a fortnight, but can rest up with the bye ahead in round three.

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