Mariners overpower Adelaide to go clear on top
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Dominant Mariners share points on the Coast
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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.
Central Coast Mariners Media Release: Seating and Active Support update
- Hits: 170
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.
Mariners fall to slick City in Melbourne
- Hits: 177
A goal in either half for Melbourne City saw the Mariners fall to a 2-0 defeat against the competition’s form team at AAMI Park on Monday night.
Jamie Maclaren and Nathaniel Atkinson scored for the hosts as City won their fifth game in a row in the A-League.
Alen Stajcic handed Max Balard a starting debut alongside Oliver Bozanic in midfield, with Daniel Bouman moving to the bench after Gianni Stensness did not travel with the side to Melbourne.
The game started evenly and an early free-kick was curled over by Bozanic, while down the other end City had chances through Maclaren and Griffiths but could not find the target, and the hosts were forced into an early change as Nuno Reis was replaced by Adrian Luna.
It took 31 minutes though for City to find the opener, and it was Maclaren who made the Mariners pay as he was left unmarked to side foot a finish past the excellent Mark Birighitti at the end of a well worked team move.
A flurry of chances followed but Birighitti was up to the task, making superb saves from Maclaren and Luna to keep the Mariners in the game, before Danny DeSilva was set up by Matt Simon moments before the break but could not put his effort on target.
Balard was replaced by Michal Janota at half-time and the Polish midfielder looked to get the Mariners back into the game, and Josh Nisbet moved back into Balard’s role alongside Bozanic.
11 minutes into the half though City doubled their lead; Andrew Nabbout’s initial strike was well blocked by Ruon Tongyik but the rebound fell kindly to Atkinson whose effort just beat Birighitti and nestled in the far corner for City’s second.
Another double save from Birighitti minutes later continued his strong performance, before Stajcic made a double change, bringing on Alou Kuol and Bouman with 23 minutes to play.
Dan Hall replaced Stefan Nigro with 13 minutes left as the Mariners pushed for a way back into the game, and almost had it in the 81st minutes.
Kuol appeared to be clattered into by Connor Metcalfe inside the area however play on was waved, and despite a lengthy VAR review claims of a penalty were waved away and City escaped the danger.
City still looked dangerous in transition but the Mariners held firm late while looking to create chances of their own, and the match finished with City as two goal victors.
The Mariners will return to the Coast on Tuesday, before beginning preparations for a big match back at Central Coast Stadium against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night!
Mariners seven points clear at the top of the A-League ladder
- Hits: 175
The Central Coast Mariners moved seven points clear at the top of the A-League ladder with a 2-0 win over second placed Macarthur on Monday night.
Alen Stajcic made no changes to the team that started against Perth, with the only difference Matt Hatch’s presence on the bench in place of Lewis Miller who missed the game through illness.
Stefan Nigro had an early chance as Daniel DeSilva teed him up after a good move but he skied his effort over the bar, and Tommy Oar had an effort saved by Mark Birighitti down the other end soon after.
The Mariners opened up the scoring nine minutes in though and Marco Urena was at the heart of the move, picking up the ball in midfield and driving forward.
He laid it off for Simon who returned the pass before making a run in behind and when Urena found him once more, his first-time strike took a deflection over Adam Federici and in to put the hosts ahead.
There were chances at both ends as the first half continued but neither could make them count and the Mariners headed into the break a goal up but with the Bulls pressing hard for an equaliser.
Ante Milicic’s side came close early in the second half and it took a herculean effort from Birighitti on the line to deny Matt Derbyshire as he came sliding in to connect with a cross.
Matt Simon had an effort somehow clawed off the line by Federici as the game entered it’s final half hour, and shortly after he and Urena were substituted with Alou Kuol and Michal Janota coming on to replace them.
Kuol looked to cause trouble for Macarthur’s back four when the Mariners were able to get out on the break and he was flattened by Benat to earn the Spaniard a yellow card.
Dan Bouman was replaced by Hatch and 25 seconds later the debutant was a record holder, sweeping home his first A-League goal with his first A-League touch from Kuol’s cutback after Janota won the ball and fed Kuol just outside the area.
That goal proved to be the sealer as Stajcic’s side saw out the final 10 minutes, with the result putting the Mariners seven points clear of the Bulls after 11 matches this season.
Attentions now turn to Sunday, as the Mariners take on Perth for the second time in two weeks, this time at Central Coast Stadium.