After taking a first half lead the Central Coast Mariners were left heartbroken at Central Coast Stadium by a 93rd minute Adelaide winner in the match that ended 2-1.
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Brama 40’) Adelaide United 2 (57’ Adlung, 90’+3 Kitto)
The run down
An injury riddled Mariners went into the match missing captain Alan Baro (suspended), right-back Storm Roux (international duty), striker Asdrubal (injured) also lost experienced defender Josh Rose in the warm up due to a calf injury which made it a hard task from the get-go.
The unavailability forced Paul Okon to make several changes to last week’s side who triumphed over Sydney FC. Liam Rose replaced Baro, Kwabena Appiah stepped up in lieu of Asdrubal and young Kye Rowles made his season debut in the place of Josh Rose.
The Yellow and Navy saw plenty of possession and goal-scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the game, Andrew Hoole narrowly missing a header and Danny De Silva shooting wide.
A string of exceptional play in the 27th minute saw a quick string of passes built from the back four which was capped off by a cross from Jake McGing on the right that was only centimetres from connecting with charging attackers Connor Pain and Appiah.
Wout Brama and Tom Hiariej proved again to be a midfield force, reading the game well to create quick turnarounds and feed to the attack.
Adelaide weren’t without opportunity. Matmour and Mileusnic both threatened to put the Reds on the scoresheet in first half but quick hands from Kennedy put a stop to a shot bound for the bottom-right corner from Matmour, and a Mileusnic hit the crossbar from close range.
A push from Diawara sent Connor Pain to ground in the penalty area late in the first stanza, and referee Mathew Conger awarded a spot kick. A cool Wout Brama made no mistake, putting the ball into Paul Izzo’s net and gave the Mariners a half time lead.
On the stroke of half time the Mariners almost made it 2-0 thanks to a precision De Silva through ball. Appiah ran onto the pass but his shot was just wide and the Mariners went into the sheds with a 1-0 lead.
With the second half underway, Adelaide returned with a vengeance, putting pressure on the Central Coast from the outset.
The Mariners showed early promise and a foul outside the penalty area gave Hoole a set piece opportunity that the number 7 couldn’t keep below the crossbar.
In the 57th minute, Daniel Adlung pulled the trigger on a goal of the season contender from distance. His volley levelled proceedings in the second half.
Ben Kennedy was kept busy by the Adelaide attack, making several key saves to keep the scores level, but there was nothing he could do to stop Adlung’s venomous strike.
Paul Okon put on fresh attacking legs late in the second half, Trent Buhagiar and Josh Bingham coming on to replace Andrew Hoole and Kwabena Appiah.
The game seemed destined to end in a 1-1 draw, before Adelaide lodged a stoppage time attack. In the 93rd minute, Mark Ochieng put the ball up and over to Kitto, who volleyed home.
A final charge from the Mariners gave Antony Golec an opportunity by the near post in the dying seconds of stoppage time, but the ball strayed wide and the Yellow and Navy couldn’t take back a point.
After a strong start and a half-time lead, a disappointed Central Coast finished the game 2-1 down to Adelaide United.
Full focus for the Mariners now turns to Saturday November 25 where they face Wellington Phoenix away from home.
40’ BRAMA PENALTY (1-0). A cool and collected Brama stepped up to take the penalty kick, sending keeper Paul Izzo the wrong way. Brama tucked his shot into Izzo’s net with ease.
57’ ADLUNG GOAL (1-1): Daniel Adlung put his foot through a contender for goal of the season, taking a searing shot from a distance. The ball screamed past Ben Kennedy and into the back of the net, giving the shotstopper no chance to make a save.
90’+3 KITTO GOAL: (1-2): A corner from Isaias found a lurking Ochieng who volleyed the ball up and over his head back to Kitto, who makes no mistake with the winner.
Paolo in the press
“We had a couple of boys that were really fatigued, who haven’t played much football of late,” Okon said. “Adelaide in the second half were very direct, a lot of longer balls, and then crosses into the box, and that caused us difficulties, but I think we still could have done better on both goals.
“There’s going to be times in games where you won’t be able to dominate for whatever reason and we needed to deal with those two situations better, and if you don’t in the end it doesn’t matter what time the goals come, they’re going to cost you. It’s certainly disappointing.
“It’s not an ideal situation, if you lose a player before the selection that’s obviously easier, after the warm up makes it tough. I think we did enough in the first half to go into the break, probably we should have been more than that one goal up. We didn’t take a lot of opportunities when we had them, and in the end we concede two goals, we lose a football game.
“Next week we get our captain back, Alan Baro will be back from suspension, but the other three I don’t know. We get a couple of days off now, we start preparing on Monday for the trip to Wellington. We have a longer turnaround now, so there’s a bit of time now to see if we can get one or two back. At stages throughout the competition you will be missing key players. That was the case tonight and we just have to deal with it.
“I’d be happier if we had the three points and we hadn’t lost, but certainly there are some positive things from it, and we always try to take that from the game, but it would have been great to win tonight, or if not win to get a point, to keep the unbeaten run going.
“BK [Ben Kennedy] has been great. That’s what we want our goalkeeper to do. We’ve got three great goalkeepers. Hopefully Tom Glover will be available for the next game, so three good goalkeepers means competition, that’s probably pushed BK to perform the way he has in the past three games,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY(gk), 4. Jake McGING, 5. Antony GOLEC, 6. Tom HIARIEJ, 7. Andrew HOOLE (86’ 12. Trent BUHAGIAR,), 10. Danny De SILVA, 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Kwabena APPIAH (79’ 17. Josh BINGHAM), 16. Liam ROSE, 21. Kye ROWLES, 23. Wout BRAMA
SUBSTITUTES: 20. Adam PEARCE, 14. Adam BERRY, Harry ASCROFT
Yellow cards: Andrew HOOLE, Antony GOLEC, Liam ROSE
Adelaide United: 20. Paul IZZO, 2. Michael MARRONE, 7. Ryan KITTO, 8. Isaias, 9. Papa Babacar DIAWARA (64’ 14. George BLACKWOOD), 10. Karim MATMOUR, 17. Nikola MILEUSNIC (82’ 12. Mark OCHIENG), 19. Benjamin GARUCCIO, 22. Ersan GULUM (67’ 4. Benjamin WARLAND), 23. Jordan ELSEY, 37. Daniel ADLUNG
SUBSTITUTES: 1. Daniel MARGUSH (gk) & 16. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS
Yellow cards: Ersan GULUM, Jordan ELSEY
Thursday,16 November 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Adelaide United