High-Fiving Mariners Thrash Glory

The Central Coast Mariners have recorded their biggest ever victory in the Hyundai A-League in a 5-nil romp over the hapless Perth Glory tonight at Sydney Football Stadium. The win sees the Mariners rocket up to third place on an ever more congested table, and gives the side a boost heading into the forthcoming away trips.

The Central Coast Mariners have recorded their biggest ever victory in the Hyundai A-League in a 5-nil romp over the hapless Perth Glory tonight at Sydney Football Stadium. The win sees the Mariners rocket up to third place on an ever more congested table, and gives the side a boost heading into the forthcoming away trips.

Head coach Graham Arnold was thrilled with the performance of his charges tonight.

“I-m very pleased with the performance of the side tonight. I-ve been hoping we would do that to someone sooner rather than later, and it-s a tremendous confidence booster for the boys.

“We played the way I wanted them to play.”

Arnold praised the contribution of his younger players.

“I thought our young guys were outstanding tonight. Young Mathew Ryan pulled off a great save that could have got Perth back into the game, and Mustafa(Amini) is full of confidence.

“You never know what the young boys can do until you give them the chance. So why not?”

When asked if it was one of the greatest wins in the clubs history, Alex Wilkinson was diplomatic.

“I don-t actually have the greatest memory, but it was definitely a great performance particularly after our last game against Brisbane.”

With both sides playing on neutral territory as part of the historic inaugural Hyundai A-League double-header, it was understandable that the first fifteen minutes didn-t create any scoring chances.

On the back of six straight losses, Perth were content to maintain possession, while the Mariners playing just their second game in twenty-seven days were trying to reacquaint themselves with the tempo of the Hyundai A-League.

They say one player-s bad luck is another ones gain and it proved to be the case again tonight. Argentinean import Patricio Perez failed in his bid to recover from a niggling back injury, which allowed Mustafa Amini to become the youngest ever Mariner to make a starting debut at just 17 years, 6 months and 10 days. The youngster acquitted himself well at the top of the diamond pushing forward at every opportunity. He demonstrated a touch of pure class to put himself into a gap in the 13th minute in a move that clearly impressed his senior teammates who all rushed in to encourage him.

With both sides preferring to consolidate possession and position it wasn-t until the 26th minute that the match had its first scoring chance. Michael McGlinchey who had been causing headaches for Naum Sekulovski all evening managed to evade the Macedonian one more time and put in a perfectly timed cross to Matt Simon.

The big striker headed it down and a scrambling Perth defence was able to clear their line, but only as far as Daniel McBreen. His first-time volley sprayed wide but McGlinchey showing great presence of mind followed up and patiently started the movement again.

The resulting cross found the head of McBreen who had made an incisive run to the far post. As fast as McBreen reacted, Perth custodian Tado Velaphi reacted even quicker sliding across to face of his goal to thwart the Mariners marksman with a last ditch save with his legs.

The next scoring chance fell to football royalty, with the man they call ‘god-, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler pushing his shot just wide of the post.

McGlinchey who was at his enigmatic best in the first half attempted a cross-come-shot in the 34th minute that almost sneaked in the underside of the bar.

But the Mariners wouldn-t have to wait much longer to open their account for the evening. In the 37th minute referee Ryan Shepheard whistled a foul in a fairly promising position for the Mariners. Oliver Bozanic stepped up to drill in the free kick and Rostyn Griffiths simply strolled through unmarked to head home his second goal for the club.

Scott Neville and Jamie Coyne could only look at each other in horror as they realised they had committed the cardinal sin of leaving a player unmarked in the box. Adding to their embarrassment Griffiths wasn-t the only unmarked option in the box.

Returning to the scene of his Hyundai A-League debut teenage ‘keeper Mathew Ryan pulled off a stunning save to deny Steven McGarry in twilight of the first half. Not content with the 1-nil advantage the Mariners immediately counter-attacked and went close to doubling their lead, but some good ‘keeping from Velaphi denied them.

The second half began like the first, with both sides failing to test each other in the opening five minutes but the Mariners went on a scoring frenzy to comprehensively thrash their Western Australian opponents.

Matt Simon went close to scoring the hosts- second but couldn-t quite keep his shot down. Youngster Amini was the next Mariner to pull the trigger with his shot from distance being pushed wide. He certainly announced his arrival and by the time he departed the match he had earned himself a standing ovation.

Amini played a key role in what became Matt Simon-s 21st goal for the club. A gem of a pass split the Perth defence and former Perth player McBreen continued the movement by picking out the unmarked Simon who finished with aplomb.

The Mariners wide players were causing havoc, and Bozanic nearly helped Simon net the side-s third, but the pass just beat the striker over the byline.

Adam Kwasnik, himself the former leading scorer for the yellow and navy added to his tally when he scored with his first touch of the ball after entering the fray in the 77th minute. McBreen was involved again passing the ball to Alex Wilkinson who in turn fed Kwasnik who drove it home.

The Mariners weren-t finished with Michael McGlinchey delivering the ball on a platter for Matthew Lewis to drive home for his first Hyundai A-League goal.

Perth went close through Michael Baird, but it was the Mariners- night when Naum Sekulovski completed the scoring with an own goal after tracking back to cover a Lewis cross.

Across the park the Mariners played strongly with Daniel McBreen playing a part in three of the five goals, and stand out contributions from everyone else.

Graham Arnold promised positive football, he got it in spades tonight.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 5 (Griffiths 37- Simon 60-, Kwasnik 78-, Lewis 86-, Sekulovski 90-(OG)) Perth Glory 0

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2 Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, (17. Chris DOIG 67-) 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, (12. Matthew LEWIS 82-) 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Mustafa AMINI (23. Adam KWASNIK 77-).

Subs not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: McGlinchey 33- Red Cards: Nil

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 9. Robbie FOWLER, 11. Branko JELIC, (10. Michael BAIRD 67-) 12. Scott NEVILLE, (16. Adriano PELLEGRINO 46-) 14. Steven McGARRY, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI, (22. Anthony SKORICH 77-) 25. Ryan PEARSON

Subs not Used: 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk).

Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Ryan SHEPHEARD Crowd: 10,746 at Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney.