Mariners edged at Suncorp

Central Coast Mariners suffered their first defeat in 2014 on Sunday, going down to the table-topping Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Queensland’s Suncorp Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners suffered their first defeat in 2014 on Sunday, going down to the table-topping Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Queensland-s Suncorp Stadium.

Despite the Club going through a turbulent week off the pitch, Phil Moss- men aimed up at Brisbane-s premier sporting venue and looked set for a valuable draw against Mike Mulvey-s men until late in the game.

Indeed, experienced attacker Mile Sterjovski gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute of play when he won, and then converted a penalty following strong work from former Roar ace Nick Fitzgerald.

But Brisbane showed why they are one of the main contenders for the Hyundai A-League 2014 crown in the second stanza, coming from behind for the second successive week to record a 2-1 victory.

Nimble Brazilian Henrique levelled the scores in the 66th minute with a clinical finish on the angle, before Albanian attacker Besart Berisha sent a deflected shot beyond Central Coast custodian Liam Reddy in the 90th minute to send the vast majority of the 16,078-strong crowd home happy.

Mariners boss Phil Moss said after the game that the traveling Mariners faithful, and those supporting the team from all corners of the globe, ought to be proud of the effort his troops put in against the Hyundai A-League ladder leaders.

“I can only praise our players today for their effort and application,” Moss said. “Defensively we maintained our structure well and limited Brisbane to less chances than they normally create.”

“Granted it wasn-t our best performance with the ball, but given the trying conditions we faced for today-s game I couldn-t be prouder of the way the boys fought for the shirt against a very good Brisbane side.”

“We were right in the match until the final whistle, as was evidenced by Mitchell Duke-s strike in added time which hit the woodwork.”

“It-s been an extremely tough week, but I thought the players really dug deep for each other and demonstrated the fighting quality the Mariners are renowned for.”

“Now we look forward to returning to the Central Coast, having our new recruits join us this week, and putting together a strong preparation for our home match against Melbourne Victory next round,” he said.

Central Coast Mariners will play their next match against Melbourne Victory on Saturday 8 February at Gosford-s Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is at 5:30pm.

Brisbane Roar 2 (HENRIQUE 66-, Besart BERISHA 89-) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Mile STERJOVSKI (pen) 36-) Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar: 1. Michael THEO (Gk), 2. Matthew SMITH (c), 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 7. Besart BERISHA, 11. Liam MILLER (26. Corey BROWN 90+2-), 13. Jade NORTH, 14. Diogo FERREIRA (10. HENRIQUE 63-), 15. James DONACHIE, 18. Luke BRATTAN (16. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO 86-), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Dimitri PETRATOS Substitutes not used: 20. Matthew ACTON (Gk), 27. Brandon BORRELLO Yellow cards: 1. Michael THEO 35-, Liam MILLER 70- Red cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON (c), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (9. Mitchell DUKE 71-), 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 15. Storm ROUX, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matthew SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (20. Bernie IBINI 58-) Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 22. Tom SLATER Yellow cards: 8. Nick MONTGOMERY 38-, Nick FITZGERALD 86- Red cards: Nil

Attendance: 16,078 Referee: Strebre Delovski