Gutsy Mariners fight to earn point in six goal thriller

The Central Coast Mariners have fought from 3-0 down to steal a point in Perth for what was one of the best comebacks in recent Hyundai A-League history.

Perth Glory 3 (Taggart 4’ & 27’, Castro 35’ (p)) Central Coast Mariners 3 (O’Donovan 56’, Powell 83’ & O’Donovan 86’ (P))

The Run Down

It was a nervy start from Paul Okon’s Mariners in his maiden competitive fixture but an inspirational half time talk saw a renewed Mariners side take the field in the second half who delivered a brave 45 minutes of play.

Paolo’s charges dictated possession and field position in the second stanza to silence their critics and fire three goals past Perth Glory to earn a morale boosting point away from home.

Irish striker, Roy O’Donovan bagged a brace against Perth Glory in a match that can only be described as a backs to the wall Central Coast classic.

For majority of the match, the Mariners caused damage from the wide areas through the likes of Trent Buhagiar and Connor Pain. Pain, who came close on several occasions deserved a goal for his efforts and won the NAB man of the match honours.  

Much to the delight of Mariners fans, Storm Roux found his name on the starting sheet in his hometown and put in a great performance to play a hand in Roy’s opener.

The Central Coast Mariners will now return to the Central Coast to prepare for the next Hyundai A-League encounter against the inform Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.


4’ TAGGART GOAL: Adam Taggart marked his return to the Hyundai A-League with a goal. A dangerous cross made its way into the box and Taggart was on hand to head home.

27’ TAGGART GOAL (2): The young Australian striker was in the right place at the right time to pick up his brace. Taggart drifted to the back post and volleyed home from close range.

35’ CASTRO GOAL (P): After Chris Harold was fouled in the box by Jacques Faty, Diego Castro stepped up to the spot and placed his penalty into the bottom corner giving Ivan Necevski no chance.

56’ O’DONOVAN GOAL: Storm Roux was instrumental in the buildup before finding Buhagiar on the right wing. Trent found space in the pocket and played it across to O’Donovan who was Johnny-on-the-spot to finish with ease from inside the box.

83’ POWELL GOAL: The Mariners carried their momentum to the final whistle and weren’t leaving Perth wondering. After some impressive build up from out wide, the ball ended up in the box at the feet of Kwabena Appiah. Appiah looked certain to score his maiden Hyundai A-League goal before the ball deflected off a Perth defender before bouncing off Liam Reddy & Blake Powell over the line.

86’ O’DONOVAN GOAL: The Irishman would have the first and last say for the Mariners after Rhys Williams cleaned him up in the box. With the weight of the world on his shoulders, O’Donovan calmly fired past Reddy to complete the incredible comeback in Western Australia.

Paolo in the press

“To be honest I always felt we were in the game when we had the ball,” Okon said. “At the start we looked nervous, maybe the occasion got to us and we were sloppy, we gave away three silly goals which is probably the most disappointing thing about it but in the second half I have to give full credit to the players.

“They fought, they believed, we say the rewards are there for the brave and we were brave in the second half to come away with the point.

“Jacques took a knock, he had a cork so we felt that Jake McGing would give us some more mobility and I thought he was excellent, he really played his part.

“We are happy with the point and now we go back to work on the areas we need to improve for our next game against Sydney FC.

“For us every training session is important, every game is important and to come down from 3 goals is very important. Our pride was hurt last season, what we saw tonight is our culture and what we saw in the second half, we want to see that level for 90 minutes,” Okon said.

“There’s a little bit of us that feels disappointed that we didn’t go on and win but the first half, conceding so early set us back a little bit, we lost confidence but certainly the second half was the type of football we want to play.

“Throughout pre-season defensively we’ve been really sound, Glory’s movement upfront when they’re on song is very difficult to deal with so we got a bit shifted.

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, a lot of those opinions are based on last season but within the four walls of that dressing room there’s a lot of pride, there is a winning mentality and there is a culture.

“One game doesn’t make a season, we are aware that there are 26 games to go, in the A-League you need to put two halves together to give yourself a real chance of winning and that’s what we will endeavor to do.

“We have some great players in that dressing room, hopefully we will have Fabio Ferreira back next week who gives us that X-Factor, young Trent Buhagiar was outstanding tonight and we just want to get better every week,” Okon said.

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9. Andy KEOGH, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 17.Diego CASTRO (28.Joseph KNOWLES, 78’), 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART (24. Milan SMILJANIC 64’)

Unused Substitutes: 13.Nicholas FEELY (GK).

Central Coast Mariners:  1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (25.Ryan PETERSON 74’) 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Blake POWELL, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (13.Kwabena APPIAH 74’), Jacques FATY (22.Jake McGING 45’), 21.Michael NEILL

Unused substitutes: 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 14.Adam BERRY

Yellow cards: Griffiths 25’, Wilson 77’, Montgomery 80’ Tavares 92’

Saturday 8 October, 2016
nib Stadium, Perth
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners

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