The run of poor results continue for the yellow and navy, notching up losses to Perth Glory in the A-League in Gosford on Sunday before being dumped out of the FFA Cup by Adelaide on Wednesday. While both defeats were by a solitary goal, in all honesty it was hard to envisage a Mariners victory in either encounter.
The results are concerning, but so are the crowds
Sunday’s crowd of 6,391 may have been hampered by the poor weather enveloping the Central Coast, but it was also the worst-attended game between these two teams in Gosford.
The Mariners have always enjoyed the support of a strong core of fans, but it appears that the casual fan is reluctant to turn up on game day if there isn’t a derby fixture or perfect weather.
Credit to the club though, they’ve taken the fortnight between home games as an opportunity to renew interest, allowing fans to purchase tickets at heavily reduced prices between Monday and Friday of next week for the club’s game against Adelaide. Hopefully they can get close to five figures and start rebuilding our reputation within the community.
From joy to despair for Simon
Matt Simon made his long-awaited return from injury in the second half of our FFA Cup semi-final in Adelaide. The East Gosford junior made a dream start, finding the back of the net just minutes after coming on and pressing the Adelaide defence with full-blooded commitment.
Unfortunately the fairytale was abruptly ended by a leg injury just before the hour mark to trigger Simon’s departure from the match. Later identified as a quad strain, Simon is once again on the sidelines for a number of weeks. The boys are missing his drive up front, so hopefully he can return to action sooner rather than later.
The next generation continues to develop
Many were surprised to see Michael Neill’s name on the team sheet against Perth on Sunday, but the 18-year-old coped well with the pace of the competition in his A-League debut and looks to be a potential successor to the aging Josh Rose on the left side of defence.
Anthony Caceres also impressed in the centre of midfield, starting ahead of the experienced Nick Montgomery. Caceres burst onto the scene last season, and with some more consistent game time could develop into another exciting prospect in the centre of the park for the Mariners, following the footsteps of Mustafa Amini and Tom Rogic.
After a slow start to the season Storm Roux also looks to be getting back to his energetic best, charging down the right flank repeatedly against the Glory to help out the offence. Hayden Morton hasn’t disgraced himself there during the FFA Cup matches either.
An insight into the club culture
Fox Sports did a segment on the Mariners during their Shootout program on Sunday afternoon featuring John Hutchinson and the club’s famous fine system. Highlight of the list is $5 for saying the name Marcel Seip!
The only way is up
The side travel down to Melbourne this weekend for another Sunday afternoon fixture, coming up against the rebranded Melbourne City. Many fans had booked flights and accommodation in order to travel down and watch David Villa run out for the home side, but maybe instead they can watch a Mariners win to get their season back underway.