Lewis Miller signs senior contract on the Coast
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Lewis Miller signs senior contract with the Central Coast Mariners
The Central Coast Mariners are delighted to announce that young defender Lewis Miller has signed a professional contract with the Central Coast Mariners that will see him tied to the club until 2022.
Miller made two appearances late in the 2018/19 season with the Mariners, but has shot into prominence this season under Alen Stajcic and has cemented himself as a fan favourite since coming on against Adelaide United back in round six.
The following week Miller was one of four scholarship players on the pitch as the Mariners beat a well credentialled Western United 1-0 and Lewis has started five of the six matches since.
Speaking this week after signing his new deal and assisting with the Mariners’ opening goal on Sunday night, the 19-year old said he was thrilled to be staying loyal to the Mariners and continuing his progress on the Coast.
“I’m honoured to sign here with the Mariners,” Miller said. “I want to be a part of the future of this club as I believe we are heading in the right direction and I am hoping to continue to make a positive impact on the team.”
“I love it here on the Coast, everyone at the club is determined to do better going forward - the fans are great while the coaching staff and players are awesome.
“Staj has given me this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to work with the coaching staff here in the next couple of years.”
Head Coach Stajcic praised the youngster for his season so far, and backed him to continue his strong form through the second half of the season.
“Lewis has shown a lot of promise this season and has shown great poise since coming into the side, so it’s great that we can reward him with a new contract,” Stajcic said.
“He’s a very talented footballer, and he continues to grow and mature s- he has potentially a very exciting future ahead of him and our job here is to help him develop to his full potential.”
“It’s great to see the Mariners giving boys like Lewis, Sammy [Silvera], Gianni [Stensness] a real chance to show what they can do as a core value at this club is to discover and allow really talented boys to flourish in a professional environment.”
Miller is another example of the club putting faith in young players and building a solid platform for the future , with Stensness recently extending his contract for a further two years and Silvera also a signing a long term senior contract the week before the season began.
Mariners beat Victory at the death
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The Central Coast Mariners ended an 18-match run without a win over Melbourne Victory on Sunday night, with two stoppage time penalties lifting them over the visitors at Central Coast Stadium.
Jordan Murray cancelled Kristijan Dobras’ opener to level scores at the half before Adama Traore’s cross deflected in off Kye Rowles to give Melbourne the lead once more, but substitute Matt Simon netted two penalties late in the game to seal the victory.
The hosts forced the first half chance of the game when Gianni Stensness found the room to slide a ball behind Victory’s backline but the pass beat Murray as well and ran through to a grateful Lawrence Thomas in the Melbourne net.
But it took only eight minutes for the Victory to go ahead, as a clever pass from Jakob oulsen found Dobras in space and the forward turned well before unleashing an effort towards goal that took a wicked deflection off a defender and wrong footed Mark Birighitti as it went in.
The Mariners had a close shave nine minutes before the break when Poulsen blasted over from close range under intense pressure from Ziggy Gordon after Robbie Kruse had his initial strike deflected away from target.
After subduing the visitors search for a second the match turned on its head just before half time, as Lewis Miller found space down the right to float a cross in and Murray rose highest in the middle to nod home past Thomas.
The hosts thought they had the lead when Kye Rowles netted off a corner seven minutes in to the second half, only to see it chalked off shortly after by VAR for an apparent offside.
A week after making his 250th Hyundai A-League appearance Matt Simon entered the field for Jair in the 63rd minute and was straight into the action.
Tommy Oar’s high ball into the box towards the Mariners skipper looked dangerous and Simon appeared to be bundled over underneath it, but no penalty was the decision and the Victory rode their luck to take the lead with just over 10 minutes to play.
A looping cross from Adama Traore crashed off the back post before finding its way into the net via Rowles who had no time to react, and the night looked to be heading for a dour finish for the Mariners.
With luck seemingly not on their side the Mariners determination never dwindled and Danny De Silva finished a fine passing move with a slick volley which found the wrong side of the net for the Mariners before being replaced by Michael McGlinchey.
As the clock ran down the hosts continued to push and their effort was rewarded when, following a long VAR check, they were awarded a penalty for a hand ball by Leigh Broxham.
Simon stepped up and fired the ball past Thomas to level things up and moments later as they pushed forward again McGlinchey was brought down amidst a group of Victory players and a spot kick was awarded.
Simon again moved forward to take it and crashed his effort off the crossbar and in to give the Mariners the match winning lead and score his 50th goal in Mariners colours.
Attention for Alen Stajcic’s side now moves to next weekend and a second meeting of the season with Western United.
Phoenix record in sight as Ball shines in win over Mariners before injury exit
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Phoenix record in sight as Ball shines in win over Mariners before injury exit
Samuel Green, Michael Flynn
Jan 4, 2020
David Ball starred before limping off as Wellington Phoenix reached the brink of a club record undefeated streak following a 2-1 win against Central Coast Mariners.
The English striker opened up the visitors’ defence as compatriot Gary Hooper stroked Ufuk Talay’s team ahead on 13 minutes and Ball turned goalscorer after some silky footwork on 29 minutes at Sky Stadium.
Luke De Vere’s own goal on the cusp of half-time brought the Mariners hope and the inspirational Ball instantly called for a 52nd-minute substitution after suffering a hip injury.
Hooper made it through 62 minutes on his second start for the club before Central Coast ensured Wellington suffered a nervous finish to get over the line as Danny De Silva and substitute Sammy Silvera threatened late on.
Wellington weathered the storm to close out their fifth win in seven games and make it eighth matches unbeaten, with Talay’s side now one game short of a club record unbeaten run.
The nine-match streak set last season is the only time in their history Wellington have gone undefeated for longer, as Phoenix rise to fourth in the ladder, overtaking Western United and pulling level with third-placed Perth Glory on 18 points.
The Mariners had only a four-day turnaround from their New Year’s Eve defeat against Perth Glory, but Stajcic’s side showed no signs of a hangover when Giancarlo Gallifuoco drilled a 25-yard effort off the top of Wellington’s crossbar in the second minute.
Phoenix showed their clinical edge when Ball’s smart footwork on 13 minutes allowed Tim Payne to break free on the overlap and the Nix right-back sent in a low cross that left Hooper with a simple tap-in to open his Sky Stadium account.
Callum McCowatt found space at the back post but his free header failed to trouble Mark Birighitti on 21 minutes but Ball made his chance count eight minutes later after leaving two defenders on their knees with some nifty footwork, and curling a left-footed shot beyond the Mariners goalkeeper.
The English striker was having a field day, as his 20-yard rifled drive forced Birighitti into a one-handed save, before he flicked Ulises Davila’s low cross a fraction wide of the Mariners near post. But, after Oar’s long-range shot cannoned back off the woodwork, De Vere handed the Mariners a lifeline when he headed Jack Clisby’s delivery into his own net in first-half stoppage time.
Phoenix reclaimed their control in the second half, but plans changed when Ball went down holding his hip and was replaced by Jaushua Sotirio seven minutes after the restart and Brazilian forward Jair threatened with a 62nd-minute header to give Phoenix a fright as the game began to open up.
Davila and Cacace worked Birighitti on the counter, while Stefan Marinovic kept Phoenix in front with a fine save to deny substitute Jordan Murray. The best chance of the half fell to De Silva on 82 minutes but the opportunity flashed before the visitors’ eyes, while Silvera also skewed a late chance wide as the Mariners came up short.
It was a red-hot start for the Mariners and they very nearly took the lead in just the third minute of the contest.
Teed up just outside the penalty area, Giancarlo Gallifuoco let fly with a ferocious first-time strike that proved too good for Stefan Marinovic but ricocheted off the frame of the goal.
Eager to make an impact after being elevated to the starting line-up, Gary Hooper didn't waste any time delivering the Phoenix the lead inside the opening quarter hour.
On the back of a full-field passing passage, David Ball played the run of Tim Payne on the right in behind the Mariners’ line before the All White put it on a platter for Hooper to tuck away at close range.
The goal is his second for the Kiwi club and his first at their home digs.
The Phoenix were looking the more dangerous side and come the 29th minute they doubled their advantage through the wiles of Ball.
With seemingly nowhere to go in a crowded penalty box, the Englishman shook a pair of Mariners defenders before unleashing a low, curling strike into the bottom corner for his second goal in as many games for the Phoenix.
Deep into injury time and the Mariners – who hit the post just minutes earlier through Tommy Oar – finally found a reward, albeit with a little help from the Phoenix defence.
Jack Clisby delivered a dangerous cross from a corner variation that skimmed off the top off the head of Luke De Vere to catch out Marinovic and nestle in the back of the net.
Despite finding themselves behind on the scoreboard the balance shifted in the second stanza as Alen Stajcic rang the changes and the Mariners began to shade the chances.
Substitute Jordan Murray was well positioned to deliver a leveler for the visitors on the back of his classy chest-then-volley, however was foiled by the sharp reactions of Marinovic in the Phoenix goal.
Mariners go down to Perth on NYE in Gosford
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A goal either side of half-time and a simple finish from Bruno Fornaroli proved enough for Perth Glory on Tuesday night, as they finished off the decade with a 3-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners.
The Mariners raced out of the blocks looking to build off two home wins, and Danny DeSilva came so close to giving them the lead only for his curling effort to strike the post of Liam Reddy’s goal and bounce away safely inside the opening minute.
Perth began to grow into the half and almost capitalised on a casual pass at the back which was picked up by Diego Castro midway inside the Mariners half.
A deft through ball sent Joel Chianese in on goal however Mark Birighitti was equal to it and blocked well with his back leg to keep the score level.
As the half wore on the conditions were having an effect on both sides with any form of decent football restricted by the heavy winds. The deflation of the famous sauce bottles provided the highlight of a relatively closely fought opening half.
Glory had similar efforts from Lopez and Chianese fizz over the bar from distance however nothing that would have given Mariners coach Alen Stajcic too much to worry about until the visitors took the lead on the stroke of half time.
A corner from the right was half cleared by Dylan Fox to the edge of the box where a lurking Castro met it with a snapshot into the bottom corner.
An immediate retaliation looked hopeful when Sam Silvera unleashed a wicked effort from distance towards the top corner but Liam Reddy was equal to the strike and tipped it past the post.
The visitors doubled their lead quickly after the break, as Joel Chianese headed home James Meredith’s cross at the end of a sweeping move.
A combination of Gordon and Birighitti prevented Central Coast from falling further behind, when Fornaroli found space in the home box, forcing the strike out for a corner which came to nothing.
The Glory extended their lead as the game entered it’s final half hour, when Castro made the most of Ziggy Gordon losing his footing to steal the ball away and tee up Fornaroli to fire home from point blank range.
Substitute Jordan Murray had a glorious chance to pull a goal back but it was not to be as his back post header bounced agonisingly wide of goal; before he helped create another chance when Milan Ðurić scooped the ball over the backline for Eunsun Kim to attempt a spectacular overhead kick which also narrowly missed the goal.
There was no further scoring as the game fizzled out through five minutes of stoppage time, and Alen Stajcic’s side now turn their attentions to a short turnaround as they travel to face the Phoenix in Wellington on Saturday.
Big first half enough for Mariners to see off Reds
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The Mariners moved off the bottom of the table on Saturday, as two first half goals and a big defensive effort helped them to a 2-1 win over Adelaide United at Central Coast Stadium.
A rare strike from Kye Rowles and a trademark long-range effort from Milan Milan Ðurić had the Mariners up by two goals before Ben Halloran’s curler made for some nervous moments as the Mariners held on for almost 45 minutes.
Alen Stajcic made a number of changes to the side that lost narrowly to Sydney last weekend, with Tommy Oar, Lewis Miller and Jordan Murray all back into the starting lineup.
The hosts began at a ferocious pace on the hunt for an opener and after Jair and Jordan Murray almost worked an opening in the second minute the Yellow & Navy went ahead after four.
A neatly worked free kick routine from the left side saw Ðurić feed skipper Oar down the wing. His looping back post cross was knocked across goal by Jordan Murray and in the defensive uncertainty Gianni Stensness worked the ball to Rowles.
The young centre back met the ball as it dropped from the air and fired into the bottom corner to give the Mariners an early lead.
Despite their bye in the previous week Adelaide looked lethargic as the half progressed and were a slip away from falling further behind when Murray back heeled to DeSilva on the edge of the box.
As the winger teed up to shoot his footing gave way and he fell to the ground allowing the visitors to close him down before his second effort was flicked past the post by Isaac Richards.
The Mariners looked the only side likely of scoring in the opening exchanges and following on from another neatly worked free kick routine it looked as if a second was on its way; with Ðurić loading up from distance only to fire wide.
The Reds began to get up to speed and had a couple of half chances with the best falling to Halloran but Mark Birighitti was equal to the effort and was quick to get down and push the ball away from danger.
Minutes before half-time though the Mariners extended the lead as Ðurić collected outside the area, cut inside one player and fired an unstoppable strike into the bottom left corner giving the keeper no chance and grabbing his fourth goal of the campaign.
The deficit was halved within a minute of the restart via a fantastic strike from Halloran as Nathan Konstandopolos released him down the right wing.
The winger took two touches before cutting inside and unleashing a rocket into the top left corner past a stranded Birighitti and cutting the noise at Central Coast Stadium.
Despite the initial shock of the goal the Mariners remained assured in possession and home debutant Jair was unlucky not to grab his first A-League goal in 11 months when Oar’s cross found the Brazilian at the back post, only for it to be forced wide.
Danny DeSilva tried a cheeky effort that ended up on the roof of the net as the Mariners looked to push their advantage back out to two goals, but they held on against a fast finishing Adelaide side to record their third win of the season.
The result lifts the Mariners to ninth spot on the table, and is a big boost ahead of the New Years Eve clash with Perth Glory next round.