Mariners clinch friendly win

Central Coast Mariners have defeated a determined Blacktown City outfit 3-0 at a chilly Lily Homes Stadium in Seven Hills tonight.

Central Coast Mariners have defeated a determined Blacktown City outfit 3-0 at a chilly Lily Homes Stadium in Seven Hills tonight.

First half goals to Adriano Pellegrino and Michael Baird combined with a late strike by triallist Adam McGeorge were enough to see the Mariners home in their first preseason hit out.

A raft of changes by both teams in the second 45 disrupted the flow of the game, with neither side able to craft many clear cut opportunities after half time.

With around 200 fans braving the cold conditions in Sydney-s west, the home side started brightly and nearly opened the scoring after five minutes. A defensive mix-up deep in Mariners territory resulted in the ball firing just over goalkeeper Justin Pasfield-s crossbar.

Both sides began the match with clear attacking intent and it was 20 minutes in that the Mariners created their first real chance of the game. With Pellegrino lifting a delightful ball into the box, Baird had his shot smartly saved by the Blacktown custodian.

While Central Coast was to be denied on that occasion, the Blacktown keeper was powerless to prevent the Mariners going a goal up in the 35th minute. Daniel McBreen burst forward and unleashed a lethal drive that the stopper could only parry, with Pellegrino tapping home the rebound on his Mariners debut to give the away side the lead.

Soon after the Mariners doubled their advantage. With Joshua Rose and the impressive Pellegrino combining well down the left side, the ball eventually found its way to Baird who made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard box.

Just before the interval Mitchell Duke fired a powerful shot on goal for Blacktown. Fortunately for the Mariners, Pasfield was up to the task, diving to his left to produce a sharp save.

After half time the match lost its rhythm with both coaches making wholesale changes.

For the Mariners, John Hutchinson and Bernie Ibini-Isei were given runs from the bench, while a host of triallists were also given their chance to impress Head Coach Graham Arnold.

Of those triallists, McGeorge did his chances no harm with a late strike to round out the scoring following yet another pass from the eager Pellegrino.

Prior to their international friendly against Glasgow Celtic at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 2 July the Mariners will take on Spirit FC at Christie Park next Tuesday 28 June. The match will kick off at 7pm.

Central Coast Mariners 3 (Pellegrino 35', Baird 40', McGeorge 87') Blacktown City 0 Crowd - approx. 200