A first half strike to Connor Pain wasn't enough for a 10-man Central Coast Mariners to prevail over Wellington Phoenix in today's pre-season friendly.
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Barbarouses 22’ & Krishna 49’) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Pain 31’)
It was the Wellington Phoenix who opened the scoring thanks to Kosta Barbarouses who converted his own penalty 22 minutes into the match after an unintentional handball by Mickey Neill in the box.
The spot-kick was cancelled out just nine minutes later by Connor Pain who looked dangerous throughout majority of his hour on the pitch and fired home from inside the box to level it up 1-1 in New Zealand. Pain's goal came just after a great opportunity fell to Roy O'Donovan but the Irish striker's shot was saved by Glen Moss.
After the equaliser it was an uphill battle for the Central Coast Mariners who went down to 10 man when Jacques Faty was show red for his challenge on Roy Krishna just outside the penalty area.
The sides went into the sheds on level terms but just four minutes into the second half Wellington capitalised on their one-man advantage thanks to a Roy Krishna header.
It momentarily became a 10 vs. 10 battle in Nelson when Hamish Watson substituted on in the 80th minute and was shown red in the 90th minute before the final whistle brought the match to an end.
22’ BARBAROUSES GOAL: It was the home team that struck first through Kosta Barbarouses. The kiwi attacker took a shot that was unintentionally blocked by the arm of Mickey Neill that resulted in a penalty. Barbarouses stepped up to the penalty spot and made no mistake taking the lead.
31’ PAIN GOAL: Wellington wouldn’t hold the lead for long though thanks to a crafty Connor Pain run into the box. After picking up possession in the ‘Nix area, Pain fired home from close range to equal the scores.
49’ KRISHNA GOAL: The Central Coast Mariners conceded four minutes into the second half when Roy Krishna leapt above the pack to head home. His attempt only just crossed the line to give Wellington a 2-1 lead.
Paolo in the press
"We're happy with our performance, we wanted to win this match and that's something we've spoken about," Okon said. "We're not going to be happy when we lose, it's not acceptable.
"A lot of things we've been working on at training we saw today so that's pleasing.
"Fab Ferreira is back, that was his first start in over a month which is important for him and the team
"It was disappointing to go down to 10 men but that can possibly happen during the season so we know what our approach will be and it becomes a bit of a fitness exercise for us. We have no injuries so we return home and look forward to another solid week at training," Okon said.
Wellington Phoenix: Glen Moss (GK) (Italiano 60’), Jacob Tratt (Fenton 80’), Roly Bonevacia (McGlinchey 60’), Alex Rodriguez, Gui Finkler (Watson 80’), Kosta Barbarouses, Adam Parkhouse, Marco Rossi, Roy Krishna (Doyle 70’), Andrew Durante, Matthew Ridenton (Rufer 80’)
Red cards: Hamish Watson 90’
Central Coast Mariners: Ivan Necevski (GK), Jacob Poscoliero (Ascroft 68’), Michael Neill, Jake McGing, Jacques Faty, Nick Montgomery (c), Adam Berry (Peterson 60’), Blake Powell (Roux 35’), Connor Pain (Appiah 60’), Fabio Ferreira Roy O’Donovan (Bingham 68’)
Red Cards: Jacques Faty 38’
Saturday September 24, 2016
Trafalgar Stadium, Nelson
Wellington Phoenix vs. Central Coast Mariners (pre-season)