Gritty Mariners leave Perth with three points

The Mariners returned to winning ways on Tuesday night as two first half goals and a big defensive effort helped them to a 2-1 win away from home against Perth.

 Alen Stajcic made two changes to his starting lineup from the loss to Adelaide, with Josh Nisbet and Daniel Bouman replacing Michal Janota and Jaden Casella in the starting lineup.

Glory started fast with a couple of corners, but it was the Mariners who struck first after a corner of their own.

The ball came out to Stefan Nigro who lobbed a header back in, Dan Bouman nodded it on further and Matt Simon chested it down brilliantly before poking home from close range to put the visitors in front.

Marco Urena had a chance when he found space on the edge of the area but could only find the arms of Tando Velaphi with his shot, and down the other end Carlo Armiento rifled a shot over the bar from distance as the hosts chased an equalizer.

The Mariners would score next though and it was the Costa Rican Urena who popped up to score his first A-League goal.

A foul on the right hand side presented the visitors with a set piece, and Danny DeSilva’s curling delivery was perfectly weighted to find Urena rising at the back post to head home and double the lead.

That would stay for half-time, and Perth introduced Diego Castro at the break looking to cut into the Mariners lead.

The hosts then made a triple change with just over half an hour to go and seven minutes later they scored through Bruno Fornaroli’s close range header, despite shouts of offside for Andy Keogh who appeared to become involved in the passage.

Alou Kuol and Jaden Casella replaced Urena and Bouman with Alen Stajcic looking to shore up the result, but it was Perth who huffed and puffed through the final stages.

The Mariners came close a number of times through chances on the break but could not convert, but held strong down the other end to keep Perth at bay and secure an important three points.

Stajcic and his side will now turn their attentions to Monday’s Pink Round clash against second placed Macarthur FC.

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