10-men Mariners fire three past Western Sydney

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In their final home game of the season, the Central Coast Mariners fired three goals past the Western Sydney Wanderers to claim three points and send their passionate fan base home with a well-earned 3-1 win.

Central Coast Mariners 3 (Simon 34’, 51, Rowles 57’) Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Bridge 67’)

The run down

In a battle between two sides playing for their fans, a brace to Matt Simon and maiden Mariners goal to Kye Rowles sealed the 3-1 win, despite Rowles being shown a red card with just over 20 minutes to play.

It was a cagey affair as both sides had attacking intent and were keen to open the scoring. The first chance of the game fell to the Yellow and Navy after pinball in the box allowed Rowles to have a shot, but his effort was blocked on the line.

The Wanderers slowly made their way into the match and forced Adam Pearce into a couple of routine saves. Pearce stood tall throughout the duration of the match and showed his quality in between the sticks. In the 34th minute, Matt Simon smashed in a free kick from close range to give the Mariners a deserved lead. The goal gave the Mariners momentum and a Jordan Murray header narrowly went past the goal after a superb Matt Millar cross.

The defensive duo of Sam Graham and Rowles were impressive as they managed to hold out danger men Oriel Riera and Baumjohann. They fought hard and held a deserved lead at the half time break.

The second half continued in the free-flowing manner of the first half. In the 51st minute, the Mariners were awarded a penalty after Jordan Murray was taken down by the Wanderers goalkeeper. Matt Simon coolly slotted his penalty away, collecting a brace and doubling the lead for the Yellow and Navy.

It didn’t take long for the Mariners to grab another goal and in the 57th minute, Kye Rowles saw his header from a Jack Clisby corner fly into the bottom corner, for his first ever Hyundai A-League goal.

In the 65th minute, the Wanderers converted a penalty through substitute Mark Bridge. The game then heated up after a late challenge by Kye Rowles on Baumjohann was reviewed by VAR and the Mariners centre half was shown his marching orders in the 71st minute.

Tensions grew as the game entered the 80th minute, the Wanderers piled the pressure on the 10-men Mariners. Adam Pearce pulled off a great save from Majok just before Bonevacia had his shot blocked by a desperate Mariners defence.

Stoppage time also saw the arrival of academy player Dylan Ruiz-Diaz who made his Hyundai A-League debut. The Yellow and Navy saw out a tense finish to win 3-1 at home.


34’ SIMON GOAL (1-0): With the run up of a pace bowler, Matt Simon put his laces through a free-kick that flew through the wall, giving Jack Greenwood in goal no chance to make a save.

51’ SIMON GOAL (2-0): Simon smartly slotted his penalty past Greenwood to double his personal tally and Mariners’ advantage.

57’ ROWLES GOAL (3-0): Kye Rowles glanced his header past the Wanderers shot stopper after a great delivery by Clisby.

67’ BRIDGE GOAL (3-1): Bridge smashed his penalty right into the top corner.

Stajcic in the media

“That was our best performance since I’ve been here, we thoroughly deserved the win. We picked them apart and that was the aim of the game and we executed our plan really well in the first half. Our execution and passes in the penalty box are still average, other than that I thought we could’ve been up 2 or 3 nil at half time. We got that lead in the second half and dominated right until the red card which changed the game for a little bit. They had a few chances, but we held firm and I’m really happy about that.

“To have that desire and it’s more about mentality as both teams can’t make the finals. That’s the part I’m most pleased with to have that mentality to be playing at the last home game of the year. There was a high degree of hunger there and apart from that I thought we dominated the game with the ball which we haven’t done since I’ve been here. Up until that red card I’m sure we would have dominated possession and that’s what you want.

“Dylan’s [Ruiz-Diaz] been working really well in training, he’s a real threat in front of goal. Like all the clubs in the A-League we want to bring in as many youngsters, unfortunately I would’ve liked him to bring him on earlier however the circumstances of the game changed that but I’m happy they got on.

“[Aiden O’Neill] is a fantastic player and has a bright future ahead. He’s already in the Olyroos and if he can keep improving, I have no doubt he can knock on the door of the Socceroos in the next couple of years he’s got so much potential. He’s got good mentality and a great professional, spent a bit of time doing it tough overseas and he will be a great attribute to Australian football for sure.

“We’ve already signed a couple of players, Jack and Jordan signed and for me they symbolise what we want. They have great character and consistent players, they play with heart and spirit, they want to learn and are extremely professional at training. We want a group of players here that are committed, unified, strong and we saw that today.

“For me it’s a matter of finishing on a high next week and the goals were always to lay a good platform. I think we’ve done that, there’s a lot more stability around the team and the club and at the end of the day there’s hope to have that win to give the fans and players hope. If we can improve a little bit there’s no doubt we can be finals contenders next season,” Stajcic said.

Central Coast Mariners: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK), 3. Jack Clisby, 7. Andrew HOOLE (17. Peter KEKERIS 90’), 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 15. Kye ROWLES, 18. Matt MILLAR, 19. Matt SIMON (c) (36. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ), 22. Jacob MELLING, 25. Jordan MURRAY, 28. Sam GRAHAM, 68. Jem KARACAN (6. Tom HIARIEJ 68’)

Substitutes not used: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK) & 33. Lewis MILLER

Yellow cards: CLISBY 27’, Karacan 42’,

Red Cards: Rowles 71’

Western Sydney Wanderers: 50. Jack GREENWOOD (GK), 3. Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 5. Brendan HAMILL (c), 9. Oriel RIERA (19. Mark BRIDGE 63’), 10. Alexander BAUMJOHANN, 11. Bruce KAMAU, 12. Mitchell DUKE (49. Abraham MAJOK 63’), 21. Tarek ELRICH (17. Keanu BACCUS 63’), 22. Rashid MAHAZI, 24. Raul LLORENTE, 28. Roly BONEVACIA

Substitutes not used: 60. Oliver KALAC (c), 13. Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS

Yellow cards: Hamill 32’, Greenwood 51’,

Saturday, 20 April 2019
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Crowd: 5059
Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers

CCM Media Release: Pain & Aspropotamitis set to depart for Western United

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CCM Media Release: Pain & Aspropotamitis set to depart for Western United

Pain & Aspropotamitis set to depart for Western United

The Central Coast Mariners can today confirm that Connor Pain & Jonathan Aspropotamitis will depart the Club at season’s end to join new Hyundai A-League outfit, Western United.

Pain arrived at the Central Coast Mariners in the lead up to the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season and has since made 73 Hyundai A-League appearances in Yellow & Navy.

Jonathan Aspropotamitis joined the Central Coast Mariners from the Western Sydney Wanderers this season where he continued his rehab from a major ACL injury. After making his return to the Hyundai A-League, ‘Aspro’ has made 13 appearances this season.

Connor Pain thanked everyone at the Central Coast Mariners for their support over the past three years.

“This is definitely a bittersweet feeling,” Pain said. “The Central Coast has become a second home for me over the past three seasons but the time has come for me to explore another avenue and it’s certainly a difficult place to leave, I have so many fond memories of my time here both on and off the pitch.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Mariners. It was my first time moving away from home when I came here three seasons ago. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many great people and some of my teammates both past and present will be lifelong friends.

“The Mariners offered me a big opportunity to come up here and play more regular football, and at the time being young it was the most important thing. For that reason and so many more I’ll be eternally grateful. I would like to extend my thanks to everyone at the club, from the football department to the medical staff and office staff - they’ve all made me feel so at home over my time here.

“Most importantly, I would like to thank the fans. “It’s refreshing when you can go to games of football and be supported no matter what, despite the couple of lean seasons we have had. It’s great to be able to know certain die-hard fans by name who always take time out to say hello whether that be out and about in the community or at games, that’s a real testament to the fans that this club possesses. Ultimately, I look forward to playing away games here and seeing the fans again,” Pain said.

Jonathan Aspropotamitis echoed Pain’s sentiments about the Mariners and their supporters.

“Coming to the Mariners presented some new and exciting challenges for me – moving out of home for the first time, coming to a new team, but I think the most exciting part was coming to a club that had such a history of success and was looking to rebuild after a few lean years,” Aspropotamitis said. “It’s no secret that the season hasn’t panned out the way that we all thought, and it’s been a very frustrating year on the pitch for everyone at the club.

“Whilst the results have been frustrating, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it has been an honour to represent a proud club like the Mariners.

“I came to the Mariners part way through my ACL recovery, and I’ll be forever grateful and appreciative of the support I got from everyone here, firstly for giving me the opportunity to come here and secondly for the support I received right through my recovery.

“I don’t want to compare fans from different clubs, but what was evident to me in the time I was here was, being involved in the various community events with the Mariners, walking around our stadium after matches and shaking hands with our fans, was that, even in a season like we had, our fans are some of the most supportive and loyal in the league.

“I think in the last few weeks you’ve seen the beginning of a change in mindset at the Club, and I hope it’s something that continues into next season. It’s what our fans deserve.

“I’d like to say thank you for the ongoing support they showed me, especially in the time that I was recovering from my injury, I will always have a soft spot for the Mariners and my time here will always be something I’ll never forget,” Aspropotamitis said.

The Central Coast Mariners would like to thank Connor & Jonathan for their service to the club and wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

Mariners edged in hard-fought battle with Melbourne Victory

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Mariners edged in hard-fought battle with Melbourne Victory

CC Mariners FC

Goals to Melbourne Victory’s Ola Toivonen & Georg Niedermeier cancelled out Matt Simon’s second half penalty which saw the Victory narrowly edge the Mariners 2-1 at AAMI Park.

Melbourne Victory 2 (Toivonen 21’ & Niedermeier 79’) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Simon 53’)

The run down

In an action-packed opening 45 minutes, Ben Kennedy was the hero for the Mariners. His first serious intervention was in the 13th minute of play when he went down to his right to save a stinging effort from Keisuke Honda, before making another timely save in the 41st minute to deny James Troisi.

The first half saw both teams trade blow for blow, but it was the Victory who strung together a number of passes to cut through the Mariners’ defence and open the scoring through Toivonen.

For the away side, it was Matt Millar on the right who was causing problems for the Victory defence, whilst Andrew Hoole, Connor Pain & Matt Simon were also asking questions of their own.

The Mariners went into the break with a one-goal deficit but came out firing in the second half, determined to make up the ledger.

It was the captain, Matt Simon who provided the equaliser when he was fouled in the box by Thomas Deng and converted his own penalty.

The second half was a much more open one, with both teams creating multiple chances but it was the Victory who doubled their lead with 10 minutes to go through Niedermeier.

Alen Stajcic’s Mariners fought valiantly until the final whistle and went agonisingly close to equalising in the 87th minute. Substitute, Stephen Mallon cut in from the left and fired a rocket from distance but an acrobatic Matt Acton somehow managed to tip his effort over the crossbar.


21’ TOIVONEN GOAL (1-0): A beautifully constructed team goal from Melbourne Victory gave the home side a first half lead. Ola Toivonen was on the end of the play to make it 1-0.

53’ SIMON PENALTY (1-1): After charging into the box and being illegally pulled down by Thomas Deng, Matt Simon slammed home his penalty to make it 1-1.

79’ NIEDERMEIER GOAL (2-1): Victory broke down the right and delivered a dangerous cross that was bound for the head of Ola Toivonen. Before it could reach its destination, Niedermeier intervened to volley home from close range.

Alen Stajcic in the media

“There was a lot more endeavour there in the second half and the boys followed instructions a bit more,” Stajcic said. “I thought our first half was pretty poor and we didn’t follow the game plan, so I was disappointed with that aspect of the game but in the second half we were a lot better with and without the ball. We made it hard for them, we came back into the game well – we had a couple of injuries during the game as well which hampered us a bit.

“We need a lot better tactical discipline if we’re going to compete with a good side like that.

“It was a great strike wasn’t it [Stephen Mallon], but a terrific save as well. Off the foot I thought it was going in but the keeper got a good touch on it.

“I’ve loved it [Coaching the Mariners]. It’s been a great challenge – I don’t enjoy losing as you can probably tell. I’ve been relishing the challenge, to be able to get up and come to work every day and be challenged is definitely something that I look forward to. It’s been rewarding, it’s been tough, it’s been a massive learning curve but I’ve loved every minute of it.

"The club really wants to pick itself up. We want to provide a foundation for the club to grow on for next season, the season was gone from a finals perspective when I arrived. We’ve seen some good moments, some good team spirit, there are some quality players there but for us now we’ve got two matches left where we are playing for our lives and improvement for the team and the club.

“Whether I’m the coach or not we want to set a platform for next year. This week we signed Jack Clisby, so whether I’m coaching or not there needs to be a good strong base of players that can take the club forward and be more competitive,” Stajcic said.

Melbourne Victory: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14.Thomas DENG (2.Storm ROUX 58’), 15.Raul BAENA, 17.James DONACHIE, 24. Elvis KAMSOBA (25.Anthony LESIOTIS 63’)

Substitutes not used: 30.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 7.Kenny ATHIU, 16.Josh HOPE

Yellow cards: Kamsoba 3’, Toivonen 31’

Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3. Jack CLISBY, 7. Andrew HOOLE (29. Stephen MALLON 77’), 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY (23.Mario SHABOW 23’), 11. Connor PAIN (25. Jordan MURRAY 69’), 18. Matthew MILLAR, 19. Matthew SIMON, 22. Jacob MELLING, 28. Samuel GRAHAM, 68. Jem KARACAN

Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 33. Lewis MILLER.

Yellow cards: nil

Sunday, 14 April 2019
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Victory vs. Central Coast Mariners

Jack Clisby commits to the Coast

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Central Coast Mariners

Jack Clisby commits to the Coast

The Central Coast Mariners can advise that versatile defender Jack Clisby has this week signed a two-year-contract-extension that will see him remain in Yellow & Navy until at least the end of the Hyundai A-League 2020/21 season.

Clisby arrived at the Central Coast Mariners ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season and has appeared 19 times in Yellow & Navy, adding to his grand total of 116 appearances in Australia’s top flight.

Deployed mostly as a left back this season, Clisby also offers an outlet in attack with his overlapping runs and set pieces. The 27-year-old fired home a goal of the season contender in round 21 against Wellington Phoenix, his first goal for the club.

Upon signing his contract extension at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Clisby spoke about his goals for the next two years.

“I’m buzzing to be here on the Central Coast for the next two seasons,” Clisby said. “I love it up here, I love the club and it’s moving in the right direction after a tough season, the future is looking bright.

“The area itself is fantastic, there are a lot of positive things happening around the club and we get to play at my favourite stadium in the league [Central Coast Stadium] almost every second week, to be here for another two years is fantastic and I just really want to grow as a player.

“The fans have been great since I’ve arrived – it’s easy for them to turn on you when times are tough but week in week out they still support us, no matter what. After every game, win, lose or draw they are there after every game to shake our hands as we walk around the stadium, they’ve been very welcoming to me.

“Over the next two years I want to improve as a player, I didn’t quite excel like I’d hoped this season so I want to really push forward and help push this club higher up the ladder. I really enjoy playing under Alen [Stajcic] who has brought in a lot of good ideas, structure, tactics – I feel like I work well with him.

“My partner and I are expecting our first child in August during pre-season so now we’re looking to move into a bigger home, we love it up here and it’s the perfect place for us to raise a newborn,” Clisby said.

home game vs western sydney

Glory too good in Gosford

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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.


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