Mariners fall to Melbourne

Central Coast Mariners suffered a 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory in their Hyundai A-League round 22 encounter at AAMI Park on Friday evening.

Central Coast Mariners suffered a 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory in their Hyundai A-League round 22 encounter at AAMI Park on Friday evening.

Goals to Jimmy Jeggo and Kosta Barbarouses on either side of half time combined with a penalty to James Troisi sealed all three points for Kevin Muscat-s side, while Zac Anderson found the net for the visitors in the 63rd minute.

The win by Victory means Melbourne rise to third on the Hyundai A-League ladder, while Phil Moss-s Mariners slip to fifth on goal difference after 22 of 27 regular season rounds of Australia-s top flight.

Central Coast had a golden opportunity to take the lead just after the ten-minute mark. An impressive corner from South Korean whiz Kim Seung-yong bounced off Anderson and into the far post.

Melbourne-s first real chance of the match came in the 26th minute as Brazilian midfielder Guilherme Finkler unleashed his shot from range. Fortunately, his strike lacked power and was easily dealt with by Mariners shot stopper Liam Reddy.

The yellow and navy came close to finding the net shortly after as young gun Mitchell Duke linked with former Roar ace Nick Fitzgerald, who struck his header wide.

Jeggo gave the hosts a 1-0 lead only seconds later as he sent the ball beyond Reddy and into the net after a pinpoint pass from Finkler.

Victory had a chance to double their advantage on the stroke of half time with Jeggo delivering a good ball to Connor Pain. However, defender Brent Griffiths did well and cleared the ball to safety.

The Mariners were handed a great opportunity to level the score just after the restart when on loan Shanghai SIPG man Bernie Ibini found Fitzgerald, whose shot was well saved by Melbourne gloveman Lawrence Thomas.

Anderson equalised for Central Coast in the 63rd minute after he connected with a free kick from Kim to net his first goal in yellow and navy.

The former Gold Coast United player returned to the action soon after as he was penalised for a handball inside the area. Troisi made no mistake as he coolly converted the penalty to give the home side a 2-1 lead.

Melbourne rounded out the scoring in the dying stages with striker Archie Thompson finding the boot of Barbarouses from the edge of the area. The New Zealand international fired home his fourth goal of the campaign just a day after returning from Japan where he featured for the All Whites against the Samurai Blue.

Central Coast will be looking to return to the winners- list when Japan-s Sanfrecce Hiroshima travel to Gosford for their AFC Champions League Matchday 2 clash next Tuesday 11 March. Moss-s team will return to Hyundai A-League action against Newcastle Jets on Saturday 15 March, with the match also played in Gosford.

Melbourne Victory 3 (Jeggo 31-, Troisi (pen) 77-, Barbarouses 90+3-) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Anderson 63-) AAMI Park, Melbourne

Melbourne Victory: 20. Lawrence THOMAS (Gk), 2. Pablo CONTRERAS, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7. Gui FINKLER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Connor PAIN (9. Kosta Barbarouses 61-), 14. James TROISI (26. Jordan Brown 90+3-), 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 17. James JEGGO (22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS 87-), 24. Scott GALLOWAY, 25. Jason GERIA Substitutes not used: 1. Nathan COE (Gk), 30. Dylan MURNANE Yellow cards: Jeggo 82-, Mahazi 87- Red cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (c), 9. Mitchell DUKE, 11. Nick FITZGERALD (21. Mile STERJOVSKI 82-), 17. Anthony CACERES, 20. Bernie IBINI (19. Matt SIMON 77-), 26. KIM Seung-yong (28. Glen TRIFIRO 66-), 29. Matt SIM Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 8. Nick Montgomery Yellow cards: Anderson Red cards: Nil

Referee: Ben Williams Attendance: 15,031