After opening the scoring in the first half thanks to a sizzling strike by Aiden O’Neill, a penalty to Adam le Fondre saw the Mariners and Sydney FC settle for a 1-1 draw.
Sydney FC 1 (le Fondre 76’ (P)) Central Coast Mariners 1 (O’Neill 36’)
The run down
It was a quiet opening 10 minutes, before Sydney started to shift momentum and worked their way into the front third.
In the 17th minute the Mariners were forced to restructure when Tommy Oar suffered a knee injury, forcing him from the field to be replaced by Matt Millar.
It was from there that Sydney started to threaten but Ben Kennedy was on hand to make a raft of sharp saves to keep the score locked at 0-0. The likes of Josh Brillante, and Brandon O’Neill continued to ask questions of ‘BK’ but our shot stopper remained up to the task.
Throughout the whole 90 minutes, Kennedy was continuously called upon and continuously made the right moves to keep the Sydney FC attack at bay.
The Mariners defence stood strong to the might of Sydney FC’s attack, and it was the away team who struck first when the spoils from a corner fell to O’Neill. The midfielder needed no second invitation to expertly slot home his shot from outside the box to make it 1-0 heading into the break.
During the second half, Sydney threw everything they had at an equaliser – but our defence worked in overdrive to keep the lethal Sky-Blue attack goalless. Sam Graham, Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Jack Clisby defended with their lives to keep Sydney out and they were able to do that for majority of the match,
But it was a soft penalty that would grant Sydney their equaliser. Substitute, Alex Brosque went down in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. It would end 1-1 at Leichhardt Oval.
The Central Coast Mariners would like to thank the strong contingent of travelling supporters who made their way to Leichhardt Oval this afternoon. Full focus now turns to Friday night, where the Yellow & Navy host Brisbane Roar.
36’ O’NEILL GOAL (1-0): Andrew Hoole whipped a corner into the box, it was cleared by Sydney but not well enough. The ball rolled to O’Neill who was waiting at the top of the box and side footed his strike with precision and power to score the opener.
76’ LE FONDRE GOAL (1-1): Brosque goes down in the box, le Fondre steps up. Despite a performance by Kennedy that was deserved of a clean sheet, le Fondre’s penalty found the back of the net.
Mulvey in the media
“When you look at the season so far, I think that’s a significant result against significant odds,” Mulvey said. “Sydney threw everything at us. Of the three games, we’ve played them this season, we were probably the least effective going forward.
“We’ve got to give a lot of credit to our boys for the performance they put in today. Since the last time we played Sydney, every game since then, up until last week, I was very happy with in terms of our performance.
“Today we’ve actually dug in – we didn’t play as well as we have been playing, but we showed more tenacity.
“In the first half, we were guilty of not winning the second ball and Sydney dominated at times. At the end of the day, we showed that we’ve got that courage under fire, we showed that today.
“[Tommy Oar] we think that the knee is intact. He will go for a scan tomorrow but he can’t buy a fix since he’s joined us. His foot stuck on the pitch, his ankle rolled which took a bit of pressure off his knee.
“We’ve got Brisbane Roar on Friday night and we can build on this. There’s eight games to go. We’ve been in many positions to win, for one reason or another whether it be send offs, running out of gas, loss of concentration we haven’t seen them out. Today the boys showed they can dig in,” Mulvey said.
Sydney FC: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL (2.Aaron CALVER 89’), 16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD (14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 62’), 17.Anthony CACERES (31.Luke IVANOVIC 70’), 23.Rhyan GRANT
Substitutes not used: 20.Alex CISAK (gk) & 21. Mitch AUSTIN
Yellow cards: Hoole 71’
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (GK), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 3.Jack CLISBY 7. Andrew HOOLE (6.Tom HIARIEJ 80’), 10.Tommy OAR (18.Matt MILLAR 17’), 11. Connor PAIN (22.Jacob MELLING 53’), 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 28.Sam GRAHAM, 29.Stephen MALLON, 68.Jem KARACAN
Substitutes not used: 12. Adam PEARCE (GK) & 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY
Yellow cards: nil
Sunday, 17 February 2019
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners