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Central Coast Mariners FC

The Central Coast Mariners came away with a 2-0 victory against Sydney FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Friday night to secure top spot and their first away win in seven years against the Sky Blues

An own goal from Ben Warland from a Daniel Bouman cross, and a strike from Alou Kuol proved enough for the visitors who held onto their lead well and came away with a two goal victory.

Steve Corica’s men are much the same side that lifted the trophy last year and they flexed their muscles early on in the match however Ruon Tongyik, who has been in great form to start the season, was a match for the speedy Barbarouses and Buhagiar.

The first half passed without much incident bar a good chance for Oli Bozanic after a well worked free kick routine found the captain unmarked at the back post, who could only direct his header wide.

The second half arrived with a bang with chances aplenty for both sides. Mark Birrighitti was again in stellar form and saved on multiple occasions to deny the Sky Blue outfit and the frustration began to grow for the fans in the stands and the players on the field.

Sydney thought they had the lead as Trent Buhagiar put the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be flagged for offside, and shortly after the Mariners took the lead.

The match was calling out for a bit of individual drive and that came from starting debutant Bouman, who carried the ball from just inside halfway and whipped in a low cross that was diverted into his own net by Ben Warland, thanks to pressure from birthday boy Matt Simon.

If that goal lifted the Mariners morale, it inspired Sydney FC to push harder for an equaliser which ultimately would never arrive thanks to desperate defending from the back four and superb work from Birighitti.

The pivotal moment of the match arrived in the 74th minute when a nice combination from Josh Nisbet and Jordan Smylie broke kindly to Alou Kuol. The confident youngster did not pass up on his opportunity and fired home into the corner via a deflection off a defender that beat Andrew Redmayne.

Sydney would huff and puff but couldn’t blow the Mariners defensive house down and the win sees the Mariners return to the top of the A-League table with three wins in four matches.

Attention now turns to a hectic period for the Yellow and Navy with a period of three home games in eight days, beginning with Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, 31st January.

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Wanderers go top as Muller’s late goal sinks the Mariners
Courtesy: John Greco

Central Coast Mariners FC

A late goal from substitute Nicolai Muller has handed Western Sydney Wanderers a 1-0 win over Central Coast Mariners in a fiery clash in Gosford on Tuesday night.

In a game of few chances but plenty of spice, Muller struck the decisive blow seven minutes from time to inflict the first defeat of the season on the Mariners.

The win for Carl Robinson’s side has seen them jump to the top of the A-League ladder on goal difference on the back of a three-game unbeaten run.

It was a contest that could have gone either way, with Mariners midfielder Joshua Nisbet hitting the crossbar with a strike early in the second half.

The late goal came at the end of an entertaining and – at times – fiery contest.

Mariners skipper Matt Simon was involved in a couple of flash points in the first half, while Wanderers defender Ziggy Gordon was public enemy no.1 with the Central Coast fans against his former club.

But Gordon and the Wanderers had the last laugh with a gritty win to move to the A-League summit.

Key moments
Cox goes close for Wanderers
It was an all-action start with both sides pressing for an opening goal but it was the visitors that went the closest inside 10 minutes.

And it was the imports that combined as Graham Dorrans’ free-kick picked out Simon Cox who couldn’t keep his header down.

Simon denied by Margush magnificence
It took just a few more minutes for the Mariners to carve out their best chance of the opening half.

Jack Clisby floated in a cross from the left with Mariners skipper Matt Simon rising highest to get a header towards goal.

Simon’s towering effort was floating towards the top corner but Wanderers gloveman Daniel Margush showed great agility to claw the ball away for a corner.

Troisi can’t find a way past Birighitti
It was the Wanderers that started the second half the stronger and they almost broke the deadlock soon after the interval.

Cox was again involved, showing great awareness to chest down a lofted pass into the path of James Troisi, but the playmaker’s shot from the edge of the box was straight at the Mariners shot-stopper.

Nisbet rattles the woodwork
While Troisi’s chance was a good one, the Mariners went even closer to grabbing the opener just after the hour mark.

The excellent Nisbet wriggled free of a couple of defenders before spotting the run of Daniel De Silva who drove into the box.

De Silva returned the ball to Nisbet in the middle and while the diminutive midfielder scuffed his first effort, he got a better connection to his second attempt which cannoned onto the crossbar.

Substitutes combine for Wanderers
Just as it looked as neither side would be able to find a breakthrough, the Wanderers delivered a decisive blow on 83 minutes.

And it was a couple of substitutes that were the instigators as the Mariners defence allowed a long ball over the top to bounce inside their penalty area.

Kwame Yeboah’s powerful shot was deflected into the path of Muller who made no mistake with an assured finish much to the delight of the away fans.

Next match
Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners
Matchweek 5
Friday, 22 January 2021
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Kick-off: 7.05pm AEDT
Match Centre

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The Central Coast Mariners spoiled the party at Campbelltown Stadium for the Macarthur Bulls inaugural home match and came away 2-0 victors in as Daniel DeSilva scored in the first half and Jordan Smylie sealed the victory late.

Mariners tame Bulls for back to back wins

The opening stages of the game were very cagey with few chances for either side, with Simon going closest for the visitors and Najjar for the hosts early on.

The main action of the half came later on as Josh Nisbet was released down the line by Stefan Nigro. Nisbet then played a low cross back toward the penalty spot that evaded everyone except for De Silva who poked the ball into the top corner, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.  

The Mariners looked strong for the remainder of the half and could’ve doubled their lead when Kuol was put through on goal from Bozanic’s long ball, but pressure from the Bulls defence and a decent save from Federici prevented that.

Macarthur threatened on occasions through the second half, but a superb defensive display across the full 90 minutes from Kye Rowles, Ruon Tongyik, Jack Clisby, Nigro and then Lewis Miller too kept them at bay.

Daniel Bouman grabbed an assist in his debut outing with the Mariners.

The hosts best chance came from a well worked free kick which teed up Ivan Franjic for a shot from the edge of the area, and despite deflecting was kept out by a wonderful save by Mark Birighitti.

There was concern for Clisby late on as he suffered a dislocated shoulder after going over the advertising hoardings while defending, but had it popped back in to finish off the game.

The sealing moment came late on as Miller found debutant Daniel Bouman down the right edge, and he beat the Macarthur line perfectly to stay onside. He drove into the box and squared the ball for Smylie to tap in, and after a brief VAR check Smylie’s first A-League goal was confirmed to wrap up the 2-0 win for the Mariners.

The victory marked the first pair of back to back wins in the league for the Mariners since December 2017, and leaves the Mariners on top of the A-League table with a 16-day break until the next home outing against Western Sydney Wanderers.

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