The Central Coast Mariners kicked off their pre-season tour of Tasmania with a 3-1 victory over the Football Tasmania state team on Sunday afternoon.
Jordan Murray’s opener was the only goal of the first half, before Ziggy Gordon and Mikey McGlinchey added goals just minutes apart later on and Ben Hamlett pulled one back late for the hosts.
The visitors got on the front foot early with a host of chances, but the Tasmanian defence did well to hold out, in particular goalkeeper Nathan Pitchford. The custodian saved a number of times from Mariners’ forwards to keep scores level, but could do nothing as Murray got on the end of yet another corner to put his side ahead.
Pitchford was called into action plenty more but did well to stop the Mariners from any further scoring, while down the other end Adam Pearce did brilliantly to save a close-range effort from Keenan Douce at his back post.
The second half began in much the same fashion, with the hosts fielding an almost entirely different team while Alen Stajcic waited nine minutes of the half to bring Jacob Nisbet on for trialist Jerry Skotadis, and Mario Shabow came on not long after to replace Jacob Melling.
Almost 10 minutes after Shabow came on he created the second goal, sliding in a beautiful cross from the right that Gordon met at the back post to double the advantage and three minutes later McGlinchey squeezed a shot through the legs of Jacob Hill to make it 3-0.
There was still time for the hosts to get one back though, and they did as Ben Hamlett snuck in to the 18-yard area and flicked home a cross from just in front of goal, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Attention for the Mariners now turns to Tuesday night’s clash with South Hobart at Lightwood Park as the pre-season tour continues.
Tasmania: 1. Nathan PRITCHARD, 2. Connor PARKE, 5. Kieran MULRANEY, 6. Todd HINGSTON, 7. Keenan DOUCE, 8. Joel STONE, 10. Charlie DYER, 11. Joffrey NKOSO, 13. Miles BARNARD, 14. Edward BIDWELL, 15. Jeremy PRICE
SUBS: 3. Thomas LITTLE, 4. Thomas YOUNG, 9. Jordan MULLER, 12. Adam GORRIE, 16. Jayden HEY, 17. Kobe KEMP, 18 Benjamin HAMLETT, 19. Tobias HERWEYNEN, 20. Noah MILES, 21. Matthew PACE, 22. Jarrod HILL
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Ziggy GORDON (C), 7. Milan DURIC, 8. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9. Jordan MURRAY, 12. Adam PEARCE, 14. Abraham MAJOK, 18. Jacob ESPOSITO (Trialist), 20. Jerry SKOTADIS, 22. Jacob MELLING, 27. Lewis MILLER, 31. Matthew HATCH
SUBS: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI, 3. Jack CLISBY, 4. Eun-Sun KIM, 10. Tommy OAR, 16. Dylan FOX, 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 23. Mario SHABOW, 26. Joshua NISBET, 28. Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ 31. Matthew HATCH