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Match Postponed – Central Coast Mariners v Wellington Phoenix

Central Coast Mariners can unfortunately confirm a number of players have tested positive to COVID-19 and are currently in isolation.

All A-Leagues players and coaching staff in NSW undergo daily screening processes including daily rapid antigen tests, along with PCR tests every 72 hours.

All players and staff have recently undergone PCR testing, however still await the result of those tests.

As per the government restrictions, these players and staff are labelled as close contacts and must self-isolate until a negative result is received from those PCR tests.

The safety of our players, officials and spectators is our primary concern and we are working closely with A-Leagues and NSW Health to enact league protocol and to limit any potential spread of the virus.

Unfortunately, as a result, the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s match between the Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix scheduled for the 27th of December has been postponed in an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Liberty A-League Women’s Match will still go ahead, however this will proceed behind closed doors in the interest of safety.

A decision will be made in the coming days on the status of the Mariners’ clash with Macarthur FC on New Year’s Eve.

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A Saturday evening return to Central Coast Stadium quite literally brought the heat, as Nick Montgomery’s Central Coast Mariners faced off against Carl Robinson’s Western Sydney Wanderers outfit for Round 5 of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s.

Central Coast Mariners FC

It was to be the perfect occasion for the Mariners captain Oliver Bozanic as he marked his milestone match with a superb free-kick at the death adding to Cy Goddard’s earlier strike to end the afternoon with a strong 2-0 victory.

Unlike last week in the 2-0 win over Sydney FC, the first half began a cagey affair between the two sides with early sparring in the midfield led by captain Oliver Bozanic as he marked his 100th A-League appearance.

Matheus Moresche and Josh Nisbet showcased a few tidy touches early on as the Mariners looked to break the Wanderers defensive bank on the counterattack, between the drinks breaks – a necessity due to the searing heat.

The early back-and-forth between the two sides allowed for Kye Rowles to display his brilliant form as he expertly stifled the Wanderers attack on multiple occasions, whilst Lewis Miller’s marauding runs down the right flank were a fantastic outlet to turn defence into attack.

Miller’s runs lead to one of the best chances in the first half, playing in Urena whose searching ball across the 6-yard box was narrowly missed by a stretching Moresche at the far post.

As the game moved into the later stages of the first half, the chances began to build – Cy Goddard becoming more involved in the play as his cut-inside, turned shot, was saved by Mejias at his near post.

Urena found himself in brilliant pockets of space throughout the first half with the final finish just narrowly eluding him on a couple of occasions – his final chance before the half time whistle saw the ball flash narrowly past Mejias right-hand post.

The wide play from Goddard and Miller specifically would culminate in a brilliant counterattack that saw the ball whipped dangerously across the front of the goalmouth to find an unmarked Cy Goddard to slam the ball high into the roof of the net to break the deadlock – 1-0.

Max Balard entered the fray in the 65th minute and was thrust straight into the action – winning the ball in the midfield and sending a perfectly-weighted ball into Urena who came close to finding the finish moments later.

Once again, the combination of Dan Hall and Kye Rowles in the heart of defence, alongside the determined Jacob Farrell and Lewis Miller down the flanks stemmed any dangerous Wanderers attack and it was another exceptional defensive display from the youthful backline.

A second clean sheet in as many weeks was well-earned from Montgomery’s men as they still found chances to break with plenty of willing runners in trying conditions.

A final two substitutes saw home debuts for Nicolai Müller and Manny Aguek to a roaring reception from the Mariners faithful.

Müller showed his quality instantly as he plucked the ball out of the sky, before being fouled multiple times – his introduction assisting the Mariners in retaining the ball again as they did for a large portion of the match.

The final chance fell in the last minute of stoppage time as Nisbet was fouled on the edge of the box and up stepped Oliver Bozanic. It was a moment made for the Mariners captain on his 100th appearance in the Isuzu UTE A-League.

A brilliant curling effort nestled the ball into the top corner, and Bozanic wheeled away in delight to the ecstatic Coasties; putting his stamp on a milestone fixture for the Mariners number eight and ensuring the 3 points remain on The Coast once again.

The Mariners will be in action one more time before Christmas as they travel to Leichardt for their FFA Cup Quarter Final against APIA Leichardt on Tuesday evening.

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Central Coast Mariners FC

It was an overcast day in Penrith as Isuzu UTE A-League football returned to BlueBet Stadium, with the Mariners meeting Macarthur Bulls for the first time since the Elimination Final last season.

It was a tight contest in the opening 45 and the deadlock was broken late in the half when Ullises Davilla’s effort off target was unfortunately deflected in off a Mariners body.

Despite a superb second half performance, the Mariners were unable to find the net and the Bulls won the match 1-0.

In the opening moments of Sunday’s afternoon kick-off, the Mariners began on the front foot with Moresche and Marco Ureña paired up front for the first time this season and both were looking to get in behind early on with Josh Nisbet and Cy Goddard playing some lovely balls through, however the final ball just fell short on a few occasions.

There was an early first half change that was forced on Nick Montgomery’s Mariners after A-League debutant goal-keeper Yaren Sözer, who was replacing the suspended Mark Birighitti, limped off with a quad strain and was later seen on crutches much to his own frustration. One person’s loss is another’s gain and up stepped 17-year-old Lawrence Caruso. Caruso was signed from Melbourne City’s Academy and originally joined the Mariners this season in the NPL squad.

Caruso entered the match with confidence despite his young age and began knocking the ball around at the back with ease in his opening minutes.

As the half progressed, the Mariners began to take the upper hand and were unlucky not to be ahead when Ureña had a cut-back deflect wide for a corner and moments later, a beautiful team goal almost materialised as Moresche linked with Ureña, who provided a perfectly weighted pass into Storm Roux’s path and the cut back to Cy Goddard placed the ball on a platter. Goddard’s shot was turned away strongly by Filip Kurto and the score remained even.

Just as it looked like both elevens would head into the sheds level, Macarthur would find the go-ahead goal after Davilla was left unmarked on the edge of the box from a Danny De Silva cut-back and his scuffed strike looked to be heading off target, but unfortunately struck a Mariners body, wrong-footing Caruso and nestling in the corner.

Refreshed, the Mariners came out in the second 45 and were all guns blazing. Marco fired the first shot in anger of the half and Kurto threw up a hand to deny him before starting A-League debutant Harry Steele very nearly curled one into the top corner from the edge of box that lifted the bench onto their feet only to watch it sail inches wide in agony.

Ureña had another chance moments later when he made a great run in behind, only to see his shot narrowly miss the target.

In defence, Kye Rowles had a magnificent performance and prevented any dangerous Macarthur attack from materialising as the Yellow and Navy continued to dominate much of the possession at BlueBet Stadium as the Mariners fans cheered on from the stands.

Nothing appeared to be falling kindly for the Central Coast as a goal line scramble that left bodies strewn all over the box, remarkably didn’t cross the line. Lewis Miller squared a perfectly weighted ball across the face and Moresche appeared to stand on the ball, only for the Bulls to flood bodies back, Filip Kurto to spill the ball, Marco to try and score from scraps and the trainers required on both sides as Kurto clutched onto the ball for dear life and the score remained at one.

Lawrence Caruso was called into action for the first time in the match as he saved low to his right from Tomislav Uskok, demonstrating that he deserves to be on this stage despite his young age.

At the death, yet again, the ball would not ricochet favourably as Farrell’s header looped inside the six yard box, landing on the head of Moresche who found his effort clawed away by Kurto when it looked a certain equaliser. It was a man of the match performance from the Macarthur shot-stopper as he kept a clean sheet once more and the Mariners left wondering how they didn’t come away with at least a point.

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Central Coast Mariners

On Sunday afternoon, Nick Montgomery’s Central Coast Mariners stood toe-to-toe with Arthur Pappas’ Newcastle Jets at a wet and windy McDonald Jones Stadium for the first F3 Derby of the 2021-22 Isuzu UTE A-League Season.

A second half quick-fire double from Josh Nisbet and Jacob Farrell saw the Central Coast Mariners take out the first 3 points on offer of the new season with the Jets finding the net from the head of Valentino Yuel.

The inclement weather set the tone early in what was to be a true derby day. Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery named a largely unchanged line-up from their FFA Cup clash in Mudgee, with Cy Goddard coming in to mark his starting debut for the injured Matt Simon and Ruon Tongyik returning to the starting eleven.

Jacob Farrell made his Isuzu UTE A-League debut just days after his 19th birthday and it was he who caught the eye early on, after a frenetic, end-to-end start to the match where Farrell was called upon multiple times and stood strong time and time again.

The early sparring continued with Marco Ureña making his way in behind the Newcastle defence, but the ball just wouldn’t hold up for the Costa Rican in the tough conditions.

Olivier Boumal and Daniel Penha looked the dangerous for the Jets, but the Mariners’ defence was well-organised and repelled each Newcastle attack.

Cy Goddard and Béni Nkololo had their fair share of chances after good link up play down both flanks and they entered the box on several occasions, whilst Josh Nisbet found himself picking up any loose balls and looked to feed the Mariners forwards.

When called upon, Mark Birighitti was up to the task in the unpredictable conditions – denying Savvas Siatravanis from a driven volley, and a Daniel Penha edge-of-box curling effort.

Heading into the half time break, Ureña found himself in behind the Jets defence once again after a defence-splitting ball from Nkololo, but he couldn’t apply the finishing touch as he saw his shot flash inches wide of the upright, which left the sides even after the first 45.

It only took five minutes of the second half for the Mariners to break the deadlock and it was the unlikely scorer of Josh Nisbet who provided it. Max Balard nicked the ball from the Jets in the midfield and fed Marco Ureña who found himself on the edge of the box and deftly slipped in Josh Nisbet to expertly finish from a tight angle for his first in a Mariners Jersey. Cue scenes of delirium from the travelling Mariners fans and players alike as Nisbet finally broke his scoring duct in his 42nd A-League appearance.

Just six minutes later, the roles were reversed as Nisbet set up an onrushing Ureña but his shot was deflected out for another Mariners corner.

From the resulting corner, defender Jacob Farrell would find himself on the end of a brilliant delivery from Cy Goddard with a perfectly timed diving header. An absolute thunderbolt off the head of the Mariners Academy graduate who wheeled away in delight, scoring his first goal, less than a month after signing his first professional contract.

The Mariners began to dominate possession and saw plenty of the ball, playing comfortably from defence to attack, and the likes of Nkololo and Urena were still full of running in the latter stages of match.

With 25 minutes left to play, the Jets substitutes would combine to spark the game back into life when Valentino Yuel’s header would hand Newcastle a lifeline.

However, a well-organised and resolute defensive performance from the Mariners kept the Jets at bay for the remainder of the contest and the introduction of Harry Steele added to the defensive solidarity.

Late in the match, the Mariners were still looking dangerous and almost put the sealer on the contest when substitute Moresche struck the crossbar in the dying embers. The scoreboard would not change however and the brilliant, well-rounded derby performance ensured that Nick Montgomery and his men would leave McDonald Jones Stadium with all three points, with attention now turning to the match against the Wellington Phoenix next Saturday.

To book your place on the bus to Wollongong, please click here.

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Central Coast, NSW
Saturday 20th November 2021

The Central Coast Mariners will be heading up the M1 to face Newcastle Jets in Round One of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s season.

Match Details:

Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, NSW
4:05pm KO
Broadcast live on Paramount+ from 3:45pm

Ahead of the match, Mariners Head Coach Nick Montgomery spoke to the media.
Nick Montgomery Interview (Video):">Click Here

Nick Montgomery Interview (Audio):">Click Here

Mariners goalkeeper Mark Birighitti also spoke to the media prior to the contest.

Mark Birighitti Interview (Video):">Click Here

Mark Birighitti Interview (Audio):">Click Here

For training overlay vision">Click Here


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