The Central Coast Mariners were able to pick up a couple of promising results this week as Phil Moss searches for the club’s second win of the season, drawing away to Melbourne City on Sunday afternoon before a nil-all stalemate on Wednesday night against Western Sydney Wanderers.
The club is still being troubled by off-field rumours, but the team spirit that the club is known for has finally appeared on the field.
Snatching a point from the jaws of defeat
Sitting at 2-0 down just minutes into the second half against Melbourne City, it looked as though another unsavoury result was headed the Mariners way. When David Williams squandered a golden chance to make it three, it seemed like a matter of time until the home side would put the result beyond doubt.
The knockout blow never arrived, and as the game progressed City allowed the Mariners to get back into the game. Glen Trifiro continued the recent trend of scoring off free-kicks to give the visitors a glimmer of hope, before John Hutchinson came to the rescue in stoppage time to score from outside the area and level the scores.
Another game, another point
With that result in mind, Phil Moss elected to start the same eleven in Central Coast’s midweek fixture against Western Sydney. The first half was a bit disjointed with the players perhaps a little sluggish after their exertions on the weekend, but the performance picked up in the second half with a number of chances to take the lead.
Despite a clean sheet, once again defence was an issue, with Liam Reddy having to make several good saves to keep out the Wanderers. It was a similar situation on Sunday and raises concerns about the club’s long-famed defensive structure.
Mane saga continues
During there were widespread reports that Senegalese striker Malick Mane had been released from the club on the basis of compassionate reasons, leading from a tweet by Fox Sports correspondent Richard Bayliss. Fox Sports also reported that Mane had sworn at his teammates at half time in the FFA Cup semi-final against Adelaide United after being told he would be substituted.
An official statement form the Mariners downplayed both of these stories, stating that while Mane had requested a release no paperwork had been finalised and that the striker had been disappointed by his substitution but not taken it out on his teammates or club staff.
Mane was left out of the squad for the clubs last two games and has struggled since his A-League debut against Newcastle.
The Mariners legacy burns bright in Osaka
Tuesday night’s international between the Socceroos and Japan featured four former Mariners in the starting eleven. Mat Ryan, Mile Jedinak, Alex Wilkinson and Trent Sainsbury took to the field against the Samurai Blue, with Oliver Bozanic an unused substitute.
The red tide comes to the Coast
The club’s search for a second win of the season doesn’t get any easier this weekend as Adelaide United make the trip to Central Coast Stadium. Josep Gomabu’s side have the mental advantage after winning the two sides’ last meeting in the FFA Cup, but the Mariners will be hoping to catch their visitors off-guard. Kick-off is at 5pm local time on Sunday, with tickets available at discounted prices when purchased online before 5pm this Friday.
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