Central Coast Mariners got the Phil Moss reign as Head Coach of the Club off to a winning start on Saturday, with young gun Mitchell Duke sending a late volley into the back of the net to ensure the yellow and navy claimed a 2-1 win over Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
The unmarked Duke made no mistake in the fourth and final minute of added time as he sent a crisp, clinical shot beyond Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic to break the hearts of the home faithful, and propel the small pocket of Mariners supporters in the west into a party.
Central Coast were forced to come from behind in the match after Glory ace Jamie Maclaren made the most of an opportunity midway through the first half. Scott Jamieson sent a sweet pass into the path of Maclaren who – with his first touch – lobbed advancing Mariners custodian Liam Reddy to send Perth one up in the 25th minute.
But Alistair Edwards’ team wouldn’t remain infront for long, with Mariners midfield maestro McGlinchey levelling proceedings just ten minutes after the former Blackburn Rovers player’s opener. After good work between Marcos Flores and Matt Simon, McGlinchey picked his spot and side-footed the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the area.
After restoring parity to the contest, McGlinchey went about showing why he is considered to be one of the Hyundai A-League’s star midfielders. Just three minutes after his goal McGlinchey almost had a second, however scrambling Glory defence forced the ball away for a corner. On the stroke of half time the diminutive midfield conductor lashed a fierce, curling free kick against Vukovic’s right post.
Glory came out of the blocks the sharper of the two sides after the break, and the Mariners had Reddy to thank for ensuring the contest remained at 1-1 early in the second stanza. Indeed, Reddy made a double save following efforts from Michael Thwaite in the and Maclaren in the 47th minute, before diving to his right to make a stunning one-handed stop from a Cameron Edwards strike just two minutes later.
The game settled thereafter with both sides finding clear-cut chances difficult to craft. The Mariners – who hadn’t played for 13 days – looked somewhat flat as the match wore on, while Perth were forced to play the final 20 minutes with ten men following an unfortunate injury to Jamieson.
Nevertheless, with tired bodies on the field and plenty of space in midfield, it was a matter of if rather then when a guilt-edged opportunity would open up for either outfit to claim all three points. With virtually the last play of the match, hardworking left back Josh Rose did well to pick out Duke with a precise pass from the left, with the Socceroos youngster cracking a first time, right-footed volley into the back of the net.
Following the match, Central Coast Mariners boss Moss said he was proud of his players’ ability to grind out a positive result against a Glory team who will prove to be troublesome opponents for many Hyundai A-League teams this season.
“Tonight wasn’t about Arnie (Graham Arnold) leaving or me taking over, it was about the players,” Moss said.
“I am extremely pleased with the effort and courage they showed to keep going, and to fight for an opportunity to win the match.”
“Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest performance our fans have ever seen, but sometimes you have to know how to win ugly. I think a lot of credit should go to the boys, because they’ve travelled to Perth to take on a tough Glory team and responded from the defeat against Roar to claim a well-earned win.”
“There will be plenty of teams who come to nib Stadium this season and return home empty handed, so this win certainly gives us something to build on,” he said.
Central Coast Mariners will play their next Hyundai A-League match against Melbourne Victory at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium on Friday 29 November, 2013. The match against Kevin Muscat’s men will mark Moss’s first in charge of the Mariners at the Club’s idyllic bayside base.
Tickets to next Friday’s clash are available from Ticketek, with the Club also set to honour Graham Arnold for his service to the Mariners during a special half-time presentation.
Perth Glory 1 (Maclaren 25’)
Central Coast Mariners 2 (McGlinchey 35’, Duke 90+4’)
nib Stadium, Perth
Central Coast Mariners: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 3. Josh ROSE, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (17. Anthony Caceres 8’), 9. Mitchell DUKE, 10. Marcos FLORES (2. Daniel MCBREEN 78’), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 19. Matthew SIMON (21. Mile STERJOVSKI 87’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 4. Marcel SEIP
Yellow cards: Hutchinson, Rose, Caceres
Red cards: Nil
Perth Glory: 1. Danny VUKOVIC (Gk), 4. Ryan EDWARDS, 6. Cameron EDWARDS (14. Steve MCGARRY 72’), 7. Jacob BURNS (C), 8. Ryo NAGAI (9. Shane SMELTZ 64’), 10. Jamie MACLAREN, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 21. Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 36. William GALLAS (5. Steve PANTELIDIS 32’)
Substitutes not used: 17. Chris HAROLD, 18. Jack DUNCAN (Gk)
Yellow cards: Pantelidis, Sidnei
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Adam Kersey