Central Coast Mariners consolidated their position on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder with a 2-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday.
Central Coast Mariners consolidated their position on top of the Hyundai A-League ladder with a 2-0 victory over Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday night.
The result was secured through the man who scored the winner against Heart in their round 4 encounter, Pedj Bojic. Bojic bagged himself a well-deserved brace in a man of the match performance.
Both Bojic-s goals came in the second half; the first through an optimistic long distance strike helped on its way by a Clint Bolton goalkeeping error and the second a classy free kick from distance.
In the first ten minutes the Mariners had an opportunity from the dead ball. Bojic stepped up for the free kick, looking to recreate his magic from round 4. Bojic sent a curling effort towards Bolton-s goal forcing an outstretched save from the Heart custodian.
Josh Rose created a mouth-watering opportunity down the left side for Bernie Ibini in the 28th minute with a pinpoint through ball that the Mariners- striker hit first time. Ibini's shot from a tough angle however failed to trouble Bolton.
Bojic stepped up to create one of the chances of the half as he teamed up with Michael McGlinchey down the opposite side of the pitch to breeze past Jason Hoffman and provide Rogic with a chance five yards from goal. Rogic leapt high but was beaten to the ball by Simon Colosimo who cleared the danger.
Just before half time the Mariners almost opened the scoring on two occasions through a flurry of chances, started by a Rogic charge up the centre of the pitch. McGlinchey and Daniel McBreen both had a crack at the net. The first by McBreen was shut down by a sliding Colosimo, the second by McGlinchey blocked by a handful of Heart defenders.
The first half could be summed up by a handful of Mariners chances created by the dashing wing play of Bojic and Rose, thwarted by a Heart team that lacked the go forward required to create any major threat. Typically, Rogic was causing headaches for his markers in the middle of the park.
The match was smashed open in the 49th minute through Bojic who was in an inspired mood. Bojic cracked a shot from all of 30 yards that possessed power but was angled straight at Bolton. Bolton made an uncharacteristic mistake that resulted in the ball squeezing through the shot-stoppers- grip to dribble across the line and give the Mariners the lead.
The next big chance for the Mariners fell in the 62nd minute as Bojic again found himself with space down the right side. The defender crossed into the box and Rogic fired two shots away, both hit with venom and both blocked by Liberian international Patrick Gerhardt.
It was not long until Bojic struck again. Firing a wicked free kick at goal, Bojic made it 2-0 to the Mariners in the 69th minute.
In the 78th minute Heart substitute Golgol Mebrahtu went closest for the visiting team. He was about to strike what he thought was a one on one chance with Mathew Ryan, but Patrick Zwaanswijk came to the rescue for Central Coast, and his challenge knocked Mebrahtu off the ball and forced the shot well wide.
Typically, the Mariners finished the match in structured fashion, not giving their opponents a sniff of fighting back into the match. The victory took Central Coast, albeit potentially temporarily, four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League standings.
The Mariners- next match is away to Wellington Phoenix next Saturday 22 December in New Zealand.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Bojic 49-, 69-) Melbourne Heart 0 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 6. Patrick Zwaanwsijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 9. Bernie Ibini (8. Adriano Pellegrino 89-), 10. Tomas Rogic (19. Mitchell Duke 81-), 14. Michael McGlinchey, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 18. Nick Montgomery
Substitutes not used: 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 5. Zachary Anderson
Yellow cards: Ryan 73-)
Red cards: Nil
Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint Bolton (Gk), 2. Michael Marrone, 4. Simon Colosimo, 5. Fred (c), 6. Patrick Gerhardt, 8. Matthew Thompson, 9. Dylan Macallister (14. Golgol Mebrahtu 67-), 11. Richard Garcia (22. Nick Kalmar 46-), 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman
Substitutes not used: 20. Andrew Redmayne (Gk),18. David Vrankovic
Yellow cards: Marrone 19-, Gerhardt 42-, Behich 63-, Colosimo 71-
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Lucien Laverdure