Frustrated Mariners held by Fury

The Central Coast Mariners have missed a chance to move back into the Hyundai A-League top three, after being held to a 1-all draw by the North Queensland Fury at Bluetongue Stadium.

The Central Coast Mariners have missed a chance to move back into the Hyundai A-League top three, after being held to a 1-all draw by the North Queensland Fury at Bluetongue Stadium.

"We didn-t deserve to win. You get gutted when you deserve to win and you don-t, but in the second half we knew they-d play the long ball and put us under pressure, which they did, and out intensity dropped off," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

Much of the 8043-strong crowd was still finding their seats when Matt Simon put the Mariners ahead, with his fourth goal of the campaign, and the second fastest goal in the history of the Hyundai A-League.

North Queensland got proceedings underway, and Chris Tadrosse, desperate to put in a strong performance against his former club, mistimed a back-ass, allowing Simon to pick up the scraps, and hold off two defenders to finish powerfully into the top of the net, all within the space of just 14 seconds.

"I wish we scored every week in the first minute.

"We should have been good enough to go on and win the game 2 or 3-nil. That-s being a professional sportsman, going out and doing your job, doing better than the other team and winning," McKinna said.

Adam Kwasnik could very well have doubled the hosts advantage inside four minutes, when he was the recipient of a fine ball through by Brad Porter, his first time effort however sailed marginally wide of the target.

The Central Coast seemed to be controlling the tempo well and the Fury was feeling the pressure, Daniel McBreen going into the book for a foul on Danny Vukovic, while Robbie Fowler was growing increasingly frustrated with referee Ryan Shepheard.

Simon forced Paul Henderson into a good save with a 30 yard effort, while David D-Apuzzo fired across goal after latching on to an Alex Wilkinson long ball.

The Fury-s afternoon wasn-t showing any signs of improving, Scott Wilson stretchered off with what appeared to be a serious leg injury just after the half hour.

Brad Porter and Dean Heffernan both kept Henderson on his toes as the Mariners went searching for a second, but they-d have to be content with a single goal advantage at the break.

The Mariners thought they had extended their lead five minutes into the second half, when Adam Kwasnik clinically buried a header past Henderson after latching on to a pinpoint ball in from Brad Porter, however the assistant correctly ruled Kwasnik offside.

An overhead volley by Pedj Bojic went over the bar but the Mariners kept coming, while at the other end, Jason Spagnuolo and Chros Tadrosse both unsuccessfully tried their luck from distance.

Nigel Boogaard slid an effort inches to the wrong side of the near post after Simon did well to win a corner, take the ball to the byline and square, but all the Mariners hard work was to be undone moments later.

Forced into conceding a corner, the Central Coast defence was unable to contain McBreen, the big striker rising highest to head home off the underside of the bar.

"McBreen did a useful job for them up front and they were picking up a lot of crumbs around him.

"They didn-t really threaten us that much, but the goal was slow organization from us, and a great delivery and a great header. You can-t argue with that but we should have been organized quicker.

"The intensity to do things quickly just wasn-t there today," McKinna said.

Macallister headed over as the Mariners searched for a winner, but ultimately it wasn-t to be, McKinna-s men forced to settle for a point.

"Everybody keeps going on about our good defence but I think we-re going to have to start looking at ourselves.

"That-s two soft goals in two weeks, and it-s only one goal but it-s not good enough.

"We-re being second to the ball and excepting it, that-s just not good enough.

"We-ve had two opportunities to go top of the league and we-ve not taken them. We had a chance to win today against a team which is bottom to get ourselves right back in the mix over the next couple of weeks to challenge again and we let ourselves down, and the supporters who were great today, came out in big numbers in terrible conditions.

"It-s disappointing because we should be good enough to go on and do that," said McKinna.

"It-s those type of games that might not be pretty, and it wasn-t, but you-ve got to be good enough to see it out," said Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson.

"You look back t the end of the season and it-s the one that got away from a silly set piece and it-s not good enough.

"We probably didn-t deserve it in the end but it would have been nice if we could have held on," said Wilkinson.

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season will be against Adelaide United on Saturday, 31 October at Canberra Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. David D-APUZZO (11. Dylan MACALLISTER 65-), 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Chris DOIG (15. Andrew CLARK 46-), 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Nicky TRAVIS (2. Matthew CROWELL 72-), 23. Adam KWASNIK.

Unused Subs 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk).

Yellow Cards None Red Cards None Goals Simon 1-

North Queensland Fury 1. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 2. Robbie MIDDLEBY, 3. Chris TADROSSE, 4. Scott WILSON (14. Chris GROSSMAN 32-), 7. Jason SPAGNUOLO (24. Dyron DAAL 72-), 9. Robbie FOWLER, 15. Fred AGIUS (11. David WILLIAMS 52-), 18. James ROBINSON, 19. Daniel McBREEN, 21. John TAMBOURAS, 23. Rostyn GRIFFITHS.

Unused Subs 20. Justin PASFIELD (gk).

Yellow Cards McBreen 18- Red Cards None Goals McBreen 75-

Referee Ryan SHEPHEARD Crowd 8,043