Mariners Heart-Stopper

The Central Coast Mariners registered their second consecutive home win with a 1-nil victory over a ten man Melbourne Heart side in their week six Hyundai A-League encounter this evening. A lone Daniel McBreen strike was enough to split the two sides and guarantee, albeit temporarily top spot on the Hyundai A-League table.

The Central Coast Mariners registered their second consecutive home win with a 1-nil victory over a ten man Melbourne Heart side in their week six Hyundai A-League encounter this evening. A lone Daniel McBreen strike was enough to split the two sides and guarantee, albeit temporarily top spot on the Hyundai A-League table.

Though they led for much of the evening the Mariners could have and perhaps should have finished with a wider margin.

"I thought we were very clinical in the first half and I wish Beauchamp hadn-t been sent off," Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold said after the match.

"Once again ruthlessness let us down in front of goal tonight.

"We-re seven points from nine at home so we are building nicely.

"I think its healthy that we have competition for spots and it creates a nice balance in the club."

One player who gained particular praise from his coach tonight was young ‘keeper Mathew Ryan.

"I thought he was outstanding, eighteen years of age and he wants that number one shirt. He really stood up," Arnold said.

Goal scorer Daniel McBreen was relieved to net his second goal in as many matches for his new club.

"Everytime I score a goal my missus is at home, so I guess she-s banned from coming now," McBreen said with his tongue very firmly in cheek.

It was an unhappy homecoming for former Mariner stalwarts Michael Beauchamp, Dean Heffernan and John Aloisi. Indeed Beauchamp and Heffernan were returning to play on Bluetongue Stadium together for the first time since February 2006. Beauchamp spent the majority of the first half as a spectator in three stints on the sideline, after a collision early in the game opened up a wound on his nose and his night ended with a red card. To show it doesn-t always go to plan when you play against your former club, Heffernan too found himself in the referee-s book.

Oliver Bozanic continues to impress with both his speed out wide and his crossing ability. In just the fifth minute he put in a superb cross that would have quite possibly resulted in the opening goal had a teammate managed to get into position.

Bozanic was at it again ten minutes later when he again broke out wide and his radar-like cross found Daniel McBreen who hit it first time with a spectacular left-footed volley. However Melbourne Heart custodian Clint Bolton was more than up to the task with a dramatic one-handed save to deny the in-form marksman.

The Heart almost managed to sneak in the opener against the run of play when Aziz Behic managed to get away a drive through a wall. Full of confidence after keeping a clean sheet in his last outing Mathew Ryan saw the ball well and held on for a very smart save.

McBreen wasn-t to be denied a second time and in the 20th minute he netted his second goal in as many matches and arguably one of the Mariners- most fluent goals. Mathew Ryan played out a cheeky ball from the back, audaciously stepping around striker Gerald Sibon, before calmly playing the ball out to Rostyn Griffiths. Griffiths found Bozanic who put in a superbly timed cross to Matt Simon. Simon was able to turn away from goal and play in Michael McGlinchey who in turn found Pedj Bojic. Bojic then proceeded to whip in a cross where McBreen was able to get in front of Wayne Srhoj and place his diving header inside the near post. In a follow-up to his ‘birthing the ball- celebrations McBreen fell to turf and slept, probably the first time he has had to sleep since the birth of his son.

Matt Simon could have doubled the lead eight minutes later after being on the receiving end of yet another Bozanic cross. Unfortunately for last season-s golden boot winner his header went inches wide of the far post.

In an effort to get his side back into the contest Nicholas Kalmar fired off a snapshot to test Mathew Ryan, but again the rookie ‘keeper was up to the task, comfortably defusing the situation.

The Mariners started the second half as they began the first, with another well timed cross unable to find a teammate. This time it was Michael McGlinchey who was able to evade his marker and provide the pass. Matt Simon had the next chance to score but he was unable to capitalise on the space provided, dragging his shot off-target.

Controversy erupted in the 52nd minute when Heart defender Michael Beauchamp was shown a straight red after an incident involving Oliver Bozanic. The decision was somewhat controversial, but the fact remained, the Mariners had a numerical advantage for the rest of the match. From the resulting free kick Bojic tested Bolton, but in the end the ‘keeper was able to handle the situation with relative ease.

Against a tiring Heart defence the Mariners fast men ran amok creating several fine chances. As has been there Achilles heel so often in 2010 it was there finishing that let the yellow and navy down. McBreen could have netted four goals but after a hectic week was unable to quite finish the opportunities. Solid chances also fell multiple times to Adam Kwasnik and substitute Nik Mrdja.

John Aloisi made a late cameo appearance and immediately set about sparking the Heart attack going within inches of heading home an equaliser within seconds of entering the field.

The Mariners defence - which had looked so composed throughout the match - was asked tough questions in the final moments of the game. Alex Wilkinson produced a superb challenge to deny one threatening raid, and Patrick Zwaanswijk continues to show his experience, time and time again making the correct decision in defence.

However it was the performance of the youngest player on the field for the Mariners who really brought the crowd to its feet. Mat Ryan soared above the pack to claim a ball under immense pressure from the Heart attackers. He then followed this up with a strong save low to his right to again deny the visitors.

Deep in injury time the Heart had several chances to scrape a point from the match. John Aloisi blasted a drive over the crossbar and Aziz Behich had an attempt on goal deflected. Aloisi had one final chance from a corner to break the Mariners hearts, but was unable to do so.

The Mariners held on for their third victory of the campaign, and interestingly enough, it was their third victory against an opponent from Victoria.

The Mariners are next in action when they take on Gold Coast United next Sunday, 19 September at Skilled Park. Kick-off is at 5:00pm and tickets are available online by CLICKING HERE or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season are still available by CLICKING HERE or by phoning 1300 767 442.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1 (McBreen 20-) Melbourne Heart 0

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2 Daniel MCBREEN (9. Nik MRDJA 84-), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON (23. Adam KWASNIK 69-).

Subs not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 5. Brad PORTER.

Yellow Cards Hutchinson 76- Kwasnik 78- Red Cards Nil

Melbourne Heart: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Michael MARRONE, 3. Brendan HAMILL (19. Eli BABALJ 46-), 4. Simon COLOSIMO (c), 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 6. Matt THOMPSON, 9. Gerald SIBON (15. John ALOISI 69-) 10. Wayne SRHOJ, 22. Nick KALMAR (17. Jason HOFFMAN 59-), 23. Dean HEFFERNAN, 24. Aziz BEHICH.

Subs not Used: 12. Peter ZOIS (gk).

Yellow Cards Heffernan 23- Red Cards Beauchamp 52-

Referee: Peter GREEN Crowd: 6,326 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford