Early strike ends Mariners unbeaten run

An eleventh minute goal to Craig Moore has handed Brisbane Roar a 1-nil win over the Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium, on an afternoon which could well have produced a different result.

An eleventh minute goal to Craig Moore has handed Brisbane Roar a 1-nil win over the Central Coast at Suncorp Stadium, on an afternoon which could well have produced a different result.

Lawrie McKinna opted to use Nik Mrdja in the middle of a three man attack, and it very nearly paid off inside the opening six minutes, Dean Heffernan playing a well weighted ball into the box, and forcing Brisbane into conceding a corner, after Mrdja-s path was blocked by left-back Matt Mundy.

But just four minutes later the hosts made their first chance count, after Heffernan blocked Henrique from getting a cross in, and the resulting corner proved lucrative for the Roar.

Brisbane skipper Craig Moore was able to shrug off his man and latch on to Matt McKay-s set piece, his header leaving Danny Vukovic with little chance at his left post.

While he set up the opening goal, McKay-s afternoon was over shortly after, forced off after just 25 minutes, after coming off second best in a challenge with Pedj Bojic.

The Mariners midfielder could have had the game back on level terms just before the half hour too, with what is fast becoming his trademark free kick.

Moore went into the back of Mrdja to give away a free kick 30 yards out, allowing Bojic to step up. He sent three into the top left corner during pre-season, and this time watched on as his curling effort agonizingly grazed the wrong side of the near post.

The Mariners defence had to work overtime to deny the Roar a second in the closing stages of the first half, when first Vukovic produced a fine one-on-one save to deny Robbie Kruse, before Bojic threw himself in front of the follow-up, after the rebound had fallen to Van Dijk, proving just how far it has come in recent times.

After winning a free kick on the right early in the second half, John Hutchinson played a nice free kick into Matt Simon, but the Central Coast striker-s header was picked out by Liam Reddy.

Vukovic was called into action again and was in fine form in his 100th competitive appearance for the club, saving a Charlie Miller shot from point blank ranger after the former Rangers striker played a 1-2 with Sergio Van Dijk, Miller-s appreciation for Vukovic-s save on display, as the pair shared a hug and a smile.

Nicky Travis, on for Nik Mrdja very nearly made an immediate impact, sent free after Henrique miscued, the former Sheffield United academy star taking the ball very nearly from box to box, but his ball through for Adam Kwasnik was well intercepted by the Roar defence.

Travis was again in the action soon after as the Central Coast went desperately searching for an equaliser, Dean Heffernan winning the second of back-to-back corners for the yellow and navy and it sat up for Travis, who fired over from 30 yards.

Lawrie McKinna-s side kept pushing forward, Matt Simon was brought down by Bob Malcolm as he was away down the right wing, the Roar hardman picking up a booking for his troubles, while Bojic saw a header from a Travis free kick appear to take a big deflection off David Dodd.

With five minutes of time added on, the Mariners still thought they were a chance, a goalmouth scramble from a corner eventually made its way to Ahmad Elrich, only to fire over, while at the other end, a van Dijk free kick cannoned into the woodwork as the Roar looked to finish things off.

Try as they might, the Mariners were unable to find that crucial goal, and were consigned to their first loss of the campaign.

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season is Friday, 4 September. Kick-off is at 8pm at Canberra Stadium. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN (15. Andrew CLARK 79-), 9. Nik MRDJA (22. Nicky TRAVIS 60-), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY (21. Ahmad ELRICH 73-), 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 23. Adam KWASNIK.

Unused Subs 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk)

Yellow Cards None Red Cards None Goals None

Brisbane Roar 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Craig MOORE (c), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER (11. REINALDO 82-), 12. Matthew MUNDY, 13. HENRIQUE, 15. Matt McKAY (6. David DODD 25-), 16. Bob MALCOLM, 18. Danny TIATTO, 24. Robbie KRUSE (17. Mitch NICHOLS 74-).

Unused Subs 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk).

Yellow Cards Dodd 53-, Mundy 63-, Malcolm 81- Red Cards None Goals Moore 11-

Referee Ben WILLIAMS Crowd 6,433