Skipper Nick Montgomery was at a loss to explain how Central Coast didn’t beat Wellington on Sunday but was in raptures over his side’s performance.
The Mariners dominated Phoenix for the majority of the contest in Gosford, having more than double the attempts on goal and a staggering 15 corners to the visitor’s two.
But they only finished with a point after Roy O’Donovan’s 76th minute header cancelled out Michael McGlinchey’s early opener for Wellington.
“I don’t know the stats of the game but we totally dominated from start to finish,” Montgomery told ABC radio afterwards.
“We got caught napping early on. Even up until that point we dominated and after that, we had so many entries into their box, so many chances, corners, crosses, shots,” he added.
“Wellington’s back-four was throwing themselves in front of anything. If we kept going another 10 minutes of that game I think we would have drove them into the ground.
“I’m so proud of the boys and the fans have been absolutely amazing, they can see we’re building something special here.”
Given the huge amount of corners the Mariners won, it was fitting they equalised via that avenue with O’Donovan scoring with a glancing header at the near post.
It was the Irishman’s third goal of the season, all of those coming in front of the home fans at Central Coast Stadium.
“We haven’t got a big side and they couldn’t deal with us…and what a fantastic header from Roy O’Donovan,” Montgomery said.
“He’s not the tallest but it was good movement. That was probably the hardest chance we had all night and he put it in the back of the net.
“I’m so proud of the boys, the gaffer [coach Tony Walmsley] and Hutch [assistant coach John Hutchinson].
“We’ve worked all week on playing like that and to put that performance on. I’m just sorry to the fans we couldn’t get the three points.”
There was a blow for the home side, with influential winger Fabio Ferreira limping off 20 minutes from the end with a hamstring injury.
But they were able to force the equaliser soon after to snap a three-game losing streak, taking their points tally to four to sit in eighth spot.
“Five weeks in we should have more points on the board but we’ll carry on playing like this and no doubt teams won’t look forward to playing us,” Montgomery said.
“We’re really enjoying the way we’re playing.
“We’ve got another big game next week against the Jets and hopefully we’ll have Fabio back.
“But we’ll take the point and build on that. Everyone can see there’s a good season ahead of us and how positive everything is.”