Central Coast Mariners 2 (Pain 29’, Buhagiar 80’) Newcastle Jets 8 (Champness 10’, O’Donovan 21’ 68’, McGree 24’ 53’ 75’, Jackson 60’ & Petratos 81’)
The run down
Saturday night’s showdown against the Newcastle Jets gave Central Coast fans a chance to farewell Mariners legend Josh Rose, despite a disappointing final score.
The final #F3Derby of the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season kicked-off with an action packed first half. The opening minutes saw high-energy and chances for both sides, Liam Rose and Riley McGree each sending a shot from distance just over the cross bar, but it would be the Newcastle Jets that opened up the scoring.
In the tenth minute, Joey Champness sent the ball past Ben Kennedy and into the bottom corner from close range. O’Donovan struck in the 21st minute, the ex-Mariner making no mistake in front of goal, and McGree found the back of the net only three minutes later, sending the Newcastle Jets ahead 3-0.
However, the Central Coast were unwilling to give up, and the Yellow and Navy pushed to reclaim possession. Connor Pain put his pace to good use in the front third, putting pressure on a hastily retreating Newcastle Jets defence, making a brilliant run that was only narrowly called for offside.
Pain’s persistence soon paid off, after a ball across the box from Andrew Hoole found him in a perfect position to send it home and reclaim a goal for the Mariners.
A goal reignited a spark in the Central Coast attack and mounting pressure from the home side had Newcastle on the back foot. A header from Alan Baro, another long-distance effort from Liam Rose and an stoppage time header from Blake Powell had the Jets keeper Jack Duncan scrambling to protect his goal, but the Yellow and Navy couldn’t quite capitalise on their chances and went to the sheds at half time 3-1 down.
When the two teams returned to the pitch, the Central Coast gave a strong first showing in the second half, but it was the visitors who found joy in the final 45.
McGree bagged a hat-trick, and goals from Lachlan Jackson, Dimi Petratos and a penalty to O’Donovan made it eight for the visitors. The Mariners showed plenty of heart, and substitutes Trent Buhagiar and Josh Bingham put some energy into the front third. A dangerous header from Bingham ricocheted from the woodwork, and Buhagiar put away a consolation goal for the Central Coast.
The most important moment of the match came in the 72nd minute, when Central Coast fans had the opportunity to farewell Josh Rose. Central Coast Stadium gave a standing ovation to a legendary member of the Mariners Family, to say thank you for an outstanding career.
It wasn’t the sendoff that Josh Rose deserved, but to show what he means to the Central Coast Community, despite the scoreline, a host of Mariners fans stayed after full time to wish him farewell.
10’ CHAMPNESS GOAL (0-1): Georgiesvki and McGree combined on the left of the box and found Champness, who darted through the Mariners defence and slotted his shot past Ben Kennedy.
21’ O’DONOVAN GOAL (0-2): Ugarkovic threaded a ball through to O’Donovan on a perfectly timed run, and the ex-Mariner made no mistake in front of goal.
24’ McGREE GOAL (0-3): McGree sent a composed shot along the ground and into the bottom corner from the edge of the 18-yard-box.
39’ PAIN GOAL (1-3): Connor Pain was in the perfect position to capitalise on a fiery ball across goal from Andrew Hoole, a deflection on the glove of keeper Jack Duncan giving Pain space to send the ball to the back of the net.
53’ MCGREE GOAL (1-4): McGree strikes again, weaving past the Mariners defence and sending in another low strike that Kennedy can’t stop.
60’ JACKSON GOAL (1-5): Substitute Lachlan Jackson lost his man and buried a header after a Newcastle set piece.
68’ O’DONOVAN PENALTY (1-6): A badly-timed tackle from Jake McGing gives away a penalty, and O’Donovan steps up to the spot, claiming his second for the night.
75’ MCGREE GOAL (1-7): McGree makes it a hat-trick with another run through the box and a tidy finish.
80’ BUHAGIAR GOAL (2-7): A cross from Hoole on the left finds Trent Buhagiar in front of goal, and the young attacker celebrates a strike in his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance.
81’ PETRATOS GOAL (2-8): The Jets respond almost immediately, with clever play from Rodriguez setting up Petratos to slam home goal number 8 for the visitors.
“We’re hurting as much as the fans are,” O’Sullivan said. “I’m an inaugural Mariner, so no one hurts more than me, cut me and I bleed Yellow and Blue. No one wants to sit here on the end of an 8-2 loss, no one wants to hear a statistic like that.
“We want to say we’re sorry. We will put it right, Mike Mulvey has come in and made some statements about where he wants the club to go, we’re all right behind that. We want to get back to a winning culture, we want to get back to winning things again her on the Central Coast and make people proud. I’ve been here when there has been 18, 000 people, I know what that feels like, and I know there are plenty of people who want to get on board with that so, let’s move forward and get that right.
“It was very disappointing, particularly given the nature of the result, it really hurts. It’s disappointing after three excellent performances and close games, to finish like that was very disheartening.
“We changed shape towards the back end of the first half, and we got a little bit of joy from that, so we were hoping that we could try and, you know they play quite a direct style of play and we didn’t deal with it in the first 25 minutes so we thought we’ll close the line a little bit and make sure we deal with it better, but we didn’t do that with the fourth goal. When you give away the advantage straight away obviously then it’s an uphill battle.
“The mood in the dressing room at half time was positive because we did finish very strong and it was very much around pride for the shirt, pride for the club, pride for the community, pride for all the things that were on the line in addition to making sure we didn’t end up on the bottom of the table, and part of that was for Josh as well, and it really hurt for Josh, the result, and for the club.
“After we conceded the fourth one it was an open game
“The last three weeks, the boys have been amazing, given the circumstances, they’ve fought in every game, that was the mandate of the last four weeks. Even tonight, under really difficult circumstances, they never stopped, we just didn’t get it right tonight.
“Even coming into the game, we were under no illusions of the quality that Newcastle have, if they get those combinations correct, and tonight they made some changes back to what was more reflective of the joy that they had earlier in the year. They’ve got strength, power, speed, and a way of playing that works really well for them, and they’re hard to deal with.
“I had a job when I took on the role, I still have that job. It was for four weeks. Obviously, there is a new Head Coach coming in that will make some plans about what he wants to do in the senior space, and the club will continue to forge forward with the development programs, so we’ll review the last four weeks with the club and figure out where I fit inside of that and go from there.
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ben KENNEDY (GK), 3. Joshua ROSE (2. Storm ROUX 72’), 4. Jake McGING, 7. Andrew HOOLE, 8. Blake POWELL (17. Josh BINGHAM 63’), 11. Connor PAIN, 15. Alan BARO, 16. Liam ROSE (12. Trent BUHAGIAR 63’), 21. Kye ROWLES, 23. Wout BRAMA, 24. Lachlan WALES
SUBSTITUTES:18. Thomas GLOVER (gk), 22. Jacob MELLING
Newcastle Jets: 1.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 3. Jason HOFFMAN (32. Angus THURGATE 87’), 5.Benjamin KANTAROVSKI (22.Lachlan JACKSON 45’) 6.Steve UGARKOVIC, 7.Dimitri PETRATOS, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 17.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 18.John KOUTROUMBIS, 24.Joseph CHAMPNESS (11. Patricio RODRIGUEZ 72’) , 27. Riley McGREE 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY
SUBSTITUTES: 16.Nicholas COWBURN 20.Glen MOSS (gk)
Yellow cards: Joey CHAMPNESS, Roy O’DONOVAN
Saturday, 14 April, 2018
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Newcastle Jets