Mariners silence Spotless Stadium with third win in a row

The Central Coast Mariners have secured their third consecutive win under Paul Okon thanks to a classy second half brace by Roy O’Donovan away from home against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Western Sydney Wanderers 0 Central Coast Mariners 2 (O’Donovan 66’ & 77’)

The Run Down

The Central Coast Mariners have secured their third consecutive win under Paul Okon thanks to a classy second half brace by Roy O’Donovan away from home against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

After a quiet first half for both sides at Spotless Stadium on Sunday afternoon where neither side enjoyed a clear-cut chance, it would be the second half that would see the away side spring to life and claim a crucial three points with eight games remaining.

The Mariners now sit two points out of the top six with their win over Tony Popovic’s Wanderers.

22-year-old shot-stopper Paul Izzo also managed his third clean sheet of the season and second in three weeks.

For the Wanderers in the first 45, it was Mitch Nichols causing most of the danger combining with Kusukami on several attacking forays but Izzo & the Mariners’ back four stood strong to earn an invaluable clean sheet away from home.  

At the other end of the pitch, Fabio Ferreira at ‘number 10’ was the main attacking avenue during the first half who found space on both sides of the pitch but just couldn’t deliver the deadly final ball.

In the Mariners’ defensive stocks Liam Rose looked as composed as ever in the centre of defence alongside Jacob Poscoliero who were both impressive under the pressure of the Wanderers’ attacking aces. Rose would go on to claim the ‘Defender of the Match’ award thanks to Fox Sports’ Defender Round.

Just after the half time break, the Yellow & Navy found themselves with the best chance of the night thanks to a direct run into the box by Ferreira. Ferreira played O’Donovan who looked as though he was about to fire home from close range but Vedran Janjetovic made a timely interception to thwart the danger 10 minutes into the first half.

From the 66th minute the Mariners rolled onto an inspiring victory which was triggered by an O’Donovan penalty after Rose was fouled in the box by Jonathan Aspropotamitis.

11 minutes later the game was seemingly put to bed when O’Donovan doubled his tally for the night and moved to 10 goals for the season.  

The Wanderers had a last-ditch chance to bag a consolation goal with two minutes remaining but Rose was on hand to make a great save off the line.

Full focus now turns to Hyundai A-League Round 20 that will see the Central Coast Mariners host Melbourne Victory at Central Coast Stadium next Sunday.


0-1 Mariners: Roy O’Donovan 66’ (pen)
Spotless Stadium was silenced when the Mariners were awarded a penalty thanks to a foul on Rose in the box. The Irishman stood over the spot full of confidence and fired home a text book penalty into the bottom corner, giving Janjetovic no chance to make a save.

0-2 Mariners: Roy O’Donovan 77’
The second goal was as clinical as you’ll see from a striker. Nick Montgomery provided the perfect through ball to O’Donovan which brought Janjetovic off his line. O’Donovan still had plenty to do and lobbed his shot into the back of the Wanderers’ net to seal three points for his side.

Paolo in the press

“I think if you look at the result it may seem to be one of our better performances of the season,” Okon said. “I don’t think we were good in the first half, we limited the Wanderers to any real opportunities but we didn’t really use the ball and turned it over far too often.

“We addressed that at half time and I think we improved in the second half, we had more possession and we go away with another win, three points and as they say in football a clean sheet.

“I’m not taking credit for that second half but it was what we spoke about before the game, it was about re-enforcing what we needed to do. We looked a threat every time we went forward, we get two goals and Roy probably could have had a hat-trick which would have been the icing on the cake but that’s great for Roy’s confidence and next week we have another tough game which we will match up to.

“If I was out there tonight I would hate to be playing against Roy, even if he’s team doesn’t have much of the ball he only needs half an opportunity and he can punish you so I am delighted for Roy. In the pre-game we talk about everyone having a responsibility to put Roy in those areas because we know he will score goals, we will win football games and for the players today there was no better example.

“That’s now one goal we’ve conceded in three games, it’s superb. 22-year-old goalkeeper, 19-year-old centre back, 22-year-old left back, Posco coming back from a long injury, Stormy is a player who’s trying to find the level he was at before his injury. We know that we can score goals and I’ve challenged those boys at the back to step up and show more responsibility and they did that. They didn’t do it in local Sunday park football, they did it here at Spotless against one of the best teams in the competition and defended like real veterans of the game.

“This win means a lot to me; I just get the feeling that there really isn’t anyone out there that thinks the Mariners can play football. I still think we’re tagged from whatever happened last season. The discussion is always about how poor the opposition is and not how good the Mariners were which is disappointing and I don’t think we’re going to go on a run and win the next eight games but I certainly think what we’ve shown so far we should be shown a little more credit. Those emotions from me are from the back of that.

“We’re not at the stage yet where we cannot perform and win, every one of our victories have been a great performance. Sydney at the moment are the best team in the competition but they’re not the best team every week but they manage to pick up points and that’s the benchmark. We have eight games left, we have some really tough games, we have two derbies and everything to play for as a football club.

“We didn’t look at it [finals] three weeks ago and we’re not going to start doing that now. We will let our supporters enjoy where we sit on the ladder. It’s great to have three wins back-to-back and nine points because only a couple of weeks ago we only had 10 points. Again, we will try and continue to win, play as well as we can and if that sees us in and around that top six then fantastic. If not, it certainly won’t be because we’ve given it our all,” Okon said.

 Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 3.Jack CLISBY, 6.Mitch NICHOLS (16.Jaushua SOTIRIO 72’), 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS (13.Bruno PIÑATARES 88’), 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Terry ANTONIS (11.Brendon SANTALAB 59’)

Subtitutes not used: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk) & 5.Brendan HAMILL

Yellow cards:

Central Coast Mariners:
20.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 7.Fabio FERREIRA (14.Adam BERRY 82’), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (17.Josh BINGHAM 88’), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 11.Connor PAIN (13.Kwabena APPIAH 77’), 16.Liam ROSE, 22.Jake McGING

Substitutes not used: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI & 5.Harry ASCROFT

Yellow cards: 19’ Montgomery

Sunday 12 February, 2017
Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park    
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Central Coast Mariners