Mariners into second after Wanderers win

Central Coast Mariners sealed a late 2-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers in their Hyundai A-League Round 25 clash at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday evening.

Central Coast Mariners sealed a late 2-1 victory over Western Sydney Wanderers in their Hyundai A-League Round 25 clash at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday evening.

Goals from Josh Rose and Bernie Ibini helped the yellow and navy to their first win against Tony Popovic-s men this campaign.

The Mariners- 11th win of the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season sees them leapfrog Wanderers into second spot on the ladder with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

The hosts had a chance to open their account in the 23rd minute as Storm Roux tried his luck after combining with soon-to-be retired attacker Mile Sterjovski. However, the New Zealand international failed to trouble Western Sydney gloveman Ante Covic with his shot falling wide. The visitors had a good opportunity to find the net shortly after as a strike from Aaron Mooy hit the woodwork, before Mariners ‘keeper Liam Reddy cleared the ball to safety.

The red and blacks were back in the action on the half hour mark as Jerome Polenz sent his volley on target from range, but Reddy produced a comfortable save to deny the Western Sydney defender.

Two minutes later the home side opened the scoring via the boot of Rose. The Rockhampton-born flyer went on a great run and made no mistake as he fired the ball beyond Covic and into the net for his first goal of the campaign.

Former Newcastle Jets man Nikolai Topor-Stanley levelled the score for Wanderers in the 40th minute following a neat ball in from Tomi Juric. Mooy had a good opportunity for the away side in the 53rd minute. Fortunately for the Mariners, his strike blasted over the bar.

Only moments later attacking ace Ibini was introduced Sterjovski, with the former LOSC Lille and FC Basel man receiving a standing ovation in his last home match of the regular season before his retirement.

After coming on for Sterjovski, Ibini was straight into the action and came close to putting the Mariners back in front as he fired a powerful effort just wide.

Substitute Mitchell Duke had a golden chance for the hosts ten minutes later after he linked with South Korean whiz Kim Seung-yong, but he failed to trouble Covic with his shot from the edge of the area landing wide. Ibini came close to giving the yellow and navy the lead in the 78th minute as he slammed the side netting following a neat pass from Kim.

However, the on-loan Shanghai SIPG player did find the net for the Mariners in the dying stages. Ibini made no mistake as he netted his fifth goal of the season after a pinpoint pass from Roux to send the yellow and navy section of the 13,157-strong crowd into raptures.

“I was obviously delighted with the performance first and foremost,” Central Coast Mariners Head Coach Phil Moss said post-match. “The three points is very handy at this time of the year, but I am just so proud of the players, they really deserve all the credit that-s coming their way.”

“I think tonight we made a statement that we-re here and that we-re here for keeps and we can achieve whatever it is we want to achieve if we can perform like that on the big stage against a quality side like Western Sydney.” Moss said the win over Wanderers was a true team effort.

“No one deserves to be on the bench and no one deserves to be in the grandstand, every single player who is a Mariners player at the moment deserves to be in the starting eleven so it-s a very tough job every week picking the team and picking the bench.”

“The focus inside the dressing room is on the process and getting the little things right and if we do that week in week out then [positive] will be a by-product of that.”

Central Coast now shift their attention to their AFC Champions League Matchday 4 encounter with Beijing Guoan on Tuesday 1 April in Gosford, before heading across the Nullarbor for their Hyundai A-League Round 26 match against Perth Glory on Saturday 5 April.

Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Rose 32-, Ibini 90-) Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1 (Topor-Stanley 40-) Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 11. Nick FITZGERALD (9. Mitchell DUKE 67-), 15. Storm ROUX, 17. Anthony CACERES (8. Nick MONTGOMERY 80-), 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Mile STERJOVKSI (20. Bernie IBINI 56-), 25. Eddy BOSNAR, 26. KIM Seung-yong Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS Yellow cards: Hutchinson, Reddy, Kim Red cards: Nil

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1. Ante COVIC (Gk), 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP (C), 6. Jerome POLENZ, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 9. Tomi JURIC (11. Brendon SANTALAB), 10. Aaron MOOY (21. Shinji ONO), 17. Youssouf HERSI (14. Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI), 18. Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 22. Dean HEFFERNAN Substitutes not used: 2. Shannon COLE, 20. Jerrad TYSON (Gk) Yellow cards: Nil Red cards: Nil

Referee: Strebre DELOVSKI Attendance: 13,157