Mariners' glorious year ends in triumph

Central Coast Mariners have ended 2013 in fine fashion by defeating Perth Glory 2-1 in their Hyundai A-League round 12 New Year’s Eve clash at Gosford’s Bluetongue Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners have ended 2013 in fine fashion by defeating Perth Glory 2-1 in their Hyundai A-League round 12 New Year-s Eve clash at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium.

A first-half goal to defender Trent Sainsbury combined with a late, late strike from midfield maestro Michael McGlinchey helped the yellow and navy to their third home win of the campaign.

The hosts started the match brightly and took the lead early on. Perth-born youngster Sainsbury opened the scoring for Central Coast in the 12th minute after he linked with Zac Anderson to score his first ever Hyundai A-League goal.

Perth weren-t impressed and attempted to restore parity to the game soon after. Sidnei Sciola tried his luck after making good ground down the left, however the Brazilian dragged his shot wide from inside the area.

Despite Sciola-s chance on the break, the Mariners were playing some attractive, fluent football. And Phil Moss- men were handed good opportunities to double their advantage soon after Sciola-s chance with opportunities falling to Josh Rose and Daniel McBreen. However neither Rose nor McBreen were able to beat former Central Coast shot stopper Danny Vukovic.

The Mariners came close to adding another goal to the scoreboard just before the break as McGlinchey produced a classy cross to Mile Sterjovski. Glory young gun Jack Clisby provided a vital block to deny the former Socceroo and LOSC Lille player.

Glory had an opportunity to restore parity to the encounter in the 61st minute as forward Chris Harold tried his luck from range, however his strike failed to trouble Central Coast gloveman Liam Reddy.

Goal scorer Sainsbury was forced off with a hamstring complaint only minutes later, with Dutch defender Marcel Seip coming on. With 15 minutes left in the match, Zac Anderson succumbed to cramp, resulting in McBreen slotting deeper into midfield for the hosts and Marcos Flores coming on at number ten.

Flores had a good chance to further the home side-s lead after neat interplay with Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Golden Boot winner McBreen, and McGlinchey. Unfortunately for Moss- side Flores- 79th minute effort was well blocked by Glory-s desperate defence.

Perth were handed a lifeline in the 83rd minute as substitute Seip was ruled to have fouled Harold inside the box. Steven McGarry celebrated his 100th game for the purple-whites in style as he fired a strike past Reddy from the spot a minute later to level the scores at 1-1.

Desperate not to let the 12,919 fans that had come out in force in support of the team down, the Mariners pushed on late in the game in a bid to find a winner. Kiwi young gun Storm Roux found the boot of McBreen in the dying stages of the clash, but McBreen pushed his shot just wide of Vukovic-s goal.

Tempers began to flare as the match entered time added on, and it was Glory skipper Jacob Burns who was given his marching orders by referee Shaun Evans after receiving his second yellow card of the contest for dissent.

Roared on by the partisan crowd, the Mariners continued to search for a winner. And in the sixth minute of time added on Central Coast reclaimed the lead as J.League bound New Zealand international Michael McGlinchey connected with the ball after Rose-s initial header cannoned off the post. Showing composure and class, McGlinchey thundered the ball into the ground and beyond Vukovic to ensure one final chapter in the Club-s history making, legacy leaving year would be etched in the annuals of time.

Post match, Central Coast Mariners boss Moss said he believed his team deserved their victory.

“I thought there was great theatre tonight [and] I thought the game had a little bit of everything,” Moss said.

“I thought we dominated for large periods of the first half and played some really attractive football to play through the lines and to create some openings in the top third.”

“We have to be better with our with our execution in the top third and that-s something we-ll address, but certainly I thought the first half set the platform for the win and if we had of come out of [the game] with a point or a loss I would have been disappointed because I thought we were good value for the three points.”

Moss said that there is improvement in his team yet.

“We-ll get there,” he said. “It-s a work in progress and we-re looking to improve in all facets of our game every week. I thought tonight there were some real hallmarks of what we-re about at the Mariners. Some quality football, some fighting spirit, they all stuck together, stuck to their guns, kept believing until the 96th minute, and it was all credit to the players.”

“We haven-t been at Bluetongue for a while now because of the game we took to North Sydney Oval. I think it's massive for the player-s belief to come back here to our fortress and get the three points.

“We-ve got another game here on Sunday [against Melbourne Heart] so if we can back up tonight with another three points on Sunday then that gives us some real momentum but I think tonight was about belief.”

Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Sainsbury 12-, McGlinchey 90+6-) Perth Glory FC 1 (McGarry 84- (pen)) Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON (10. Marcos FLORES 75-), 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE (19. Matthew SIMON 85-), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY (4. Marcel SEIP 65-), 21. Mile STERJOVSKI Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 11. Nick FITZGERALD Yellow cards: Seip Red cards: Nil

Perth Glory FC: 1. Danny VUKOVIC (Gk), 2. Jack CLISBY, 7. Jacob BURNS (C), 14. Steven MCGARRY, 16. SIDNEI (15. Isaka CERNAK 74-), 17. Chris HAROLD, 20. Daniel DE SILVA (4. Ryan EDWARDS 54-), 22. Ndumba MAKECHE (11. Adrian ZAHRA 54-), 23. Michael THWAITE, 24. Matthew DAVIES, 25. Riley WOODCOCK Substitutes not used: 3. Brandon O-NEILL,, 18. Jack DUNCAN (Gk) Yellow cards: Burns x2, McGarry Red cards: Burns

Referee: Shaun Evans Attendance: 12,919