Another point salvaged by resolute Mariners
The comeback kings were at it again at Bluetongue Stadium tonight – Andre Gumprecht’s late equaliser ensuring a share of the spoils for the Central Coast Mariners in their 1-1 draw with travel specialists the Queensland Roar.
The comeback kings were at it again at Bluetongue Stadium tonight - Andre Gumprecht-s late equaliser ensuring a share of the spoils for the Central Coast Mariners in their 1-1 draw with travel specialists the Queensland Roar.
Substitute Gumprecht was forced to intervene after Sergio Van Dijk had given the Roar the lead early in the first stanza - both goals of the highest quality and worthy of winning a match that was ultimately destined to end all square.
Coming into the fixture, the Mariners had never beaten the Roar in a Hyundai A-League clash at Bluetongue Stadium and the Queenslanders- monopoly at the Central Coast-s waterfront home would remain in tact despite a late Mariners onslaught that so nearly delivered all three points for the home side.
With a tentative grip on a Hyundai A-League Finals Series berth to play for, the clubs currently occupying third and fourth place were made to settle for a point that was most certainly the fairest outcome on a steamy Central Coast evening.
"At the finish up, we dominated the second half and it was great to get a point, but we really should have won the game," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna after the match.
"It-s great coming back from a goal down and it shows a lot about the character of our team but we should have done more than what we did in the first half, but the second half was great."
No doubt affected by the hot and humid conditions that engulfed Bluetongue Stadium from the outset, the Mariners were second best throughout the first half and, largely, a lethargic interpretation of their best form.
Without injured marksman Matt Simon up front to spearhead the yellow and navy strike force, the home side struggled to break down their opponents, whose advantage at the break came from Van Dijk-s scintillating drive on eleven minutes.
Highlights were hard to come by for the Mariners throughout the opening forty-five and it wasn-t until after the break that the yellow and navy would truly assert their authority.
With central threesome Adrian Caceres, John Hutchinson and Mile Jedinak beginning to assume control of the crucial midfield battle, Gumprecht soon capitalised on the Mariners- dominance with a solid strike from the fringe of the penalty area with seven minutes to play.
The Mariners- only import fired home following a free kick to register his third Hyundai A-League strike in Mariners colours and first since New Year-s Eve in 2005 - a strike particularly telling for a player that only recently returned to selection calculations on the back of a recovery from a serious knee injury.
The point earned by the Mariners was their seventh draw of the season and further illustrated just how hard it is to beat McKinna-s charges, who have tasted defeat on only three occasions this campaign.
The Mariners- Hyundai A-League season continues at their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 13 December against southern rivals Sydney FC. Kick off is at 7pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.
Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny Vukovic (gk), 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Bradley Porter, 6. David D-Apuzzo (2. Andre Gumprecht 54-), 7. John Hutchinson, 10. Adrian Caceres, 11. Dylan Macallister, 17. Matthew Osman (9. Nik Mrdja 61-), 18. Alex Wilkinson, 22. Sasho Petrovski, 23. Mile Jedinak
Unused Subs 15. Andrew Clark, 30. Andrew Redmayne (gk)
Yellow Cards D-Apuzzo 10-, Bojic 72- Red Cards None Goals Gumprecht 83-
Queensland Roar 1. Liam Reddy (gk), 2. Andrew Packer, 3. Luke Devere, 4. Craig Moore, 5. Josh McCloughan, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Sergio Van Dijk, 10. Charlie Miller, 12. Tahj Minniecon (17. Mitch Nichols 72-), 15. Matt McKay, 18. Danny Tiatto (14. Ben Griffin 81-)
Unused Subs 20. Griffin McMaster (gk), 23. Tim Smits
Yellow Cards Devere 90-+1 Red Cards None Goals Van Dijk 11-
Referee Ben Williams Crowd 8,895