Central Coast Mariners 1 (O’Donovan 35’) Sydney FC 3 (Smeltz 34’, Simon 82’ & 88’)
The Run Down
A gutsy 10 men Central Coast Mariners have fallen 3-1 to Sydney FC after losing Nick Fitzgerald to his second yellow card in the 42nd minute. Two first half goals in less than a minute to Shane Smeltz & Roy O’Donovan were cancelled out by a Matt Simon brace in the last 10 minutes of play.
It was a first half packed with action, two goals and a red card all in less than 10 minutes had the scores level but the Mariners were a player down. Smeltz’s opener was followed up by a scintillating run by Ferreira down the right to set up O’Donovan and close the deficit.
Fitzgerald then found himself on the wrong side of two referee decisions where he was shown two yellow cards (40’ & 42’) that saw him leave the field just before the break.
Despite two goals and a red card, arguably the biggest talking point of the first 45 minutes was a penalty shout that denied O’Donovan his brace. The Irishman picked up a superb long ball by Liam Rose before being halted by a diving Janjetovic. Mariners’ fans and players alike were begging for a penalty that was waved away by Adam Fielding.
With only 10 men on the pitch, the Mariners continued to push forward and stayed true to their high pressing approach for the full 90, which was evident when Walmsley made an attacking substitution at half time (Austin for L. Rose).
Matt Simon closed the match out with two goals in the final 10 minutes of play to gift Sydney FC all three points.
Full focus now turns to next week where the Mariners’ will play Wellington Phoenix in their second consecutive home match.
34’ SMELTZ GOAL: Holosko lodged a dangerous attack down the right with an impressive turn to get in behind the Mariners defensive line. Via Alex Brosque, Shane Smeltz picked up possession in the box and made no mistake with the close range finish.
35’ O’DONOVAN GOAL: The Irishman bagged his second goal in two home matches on the back of some lightning pace by Ferreira down the right. The Portuguese winger powered into the box before delivering a precision ball to O’Donovan. The 30-year-old belted home from the edge of the six-yard box to level the scores in less than a minute.
82’ SIMON GOAL: The returning Matt Simon wasted no time getting involved as a second half substitute. Simon picked up possession from Holosko and fired home in the closing stages.
88’ SIMON GOAL (2): Simon always poses an aerial threat and headed home with just minutes remaining to put the match to bed.
20’ O’DONOVAN SHOOTS: The Irishman looked to have the first chance of the match with a bursting run through Sydney’s back four. Ferreira played provider who slipped a perfect ball through to O’Donovan but the former Sunderland striker put his effort just over the bar.
27’ FAB FREE KICK: Ferreira looked to take advantage of a set piece just outside the 18-yard-box with a laser beam strike. His attempt took a deflection off both a Sydney defender and O’Donovan before falling safely in the hands of Janjetovic.
30’ HOLOSKO OUT WIDE: Sydney FC’s marquee man lodged a dangerous run down the right wing into the Mariners’ box. The Slovakian shot from a difficult angle but his one-on-one opportunity dribbled wide of Izzo’s upright.
38’ PENALTY SHOUT: The Central Coast Mariners fans were straight to their feet to express their disbelief in the 38th minute when O’Donovan made his way into the box only to be brought down by Janjetovic. Penalty shouts from all angles filled the stadium but Fielding was quick to wave them away.
42’ FITZY RED CARD: The Yellow & Navy were down to 10 men just before the break with Nick Fitzgerald picking up two yellow cards in a short space of time.
49’ ROSEY SHOT: Josh Rose looked to kick off his first Hyundai A-League start of the season with a goal, his strike from just outside the area was just wide of the upright.
63’ AUSTIN RUN: Mitch Austin set off on one of his characteristic runs down the left wing which brought the crowd to its feet. Austin steadied to shoot but was shut down by the Sydney back four.
“3-1 it’s not a great result, but there was elements of the performance where we showed progress tonight.”
“I’d like to say up front Fitzgerald’s one of the most honest players I’ve worked with and he doesn’t dive.”
“At half time we reset, frustrated them for a little while, could’ve got something on the break but after the second goal it was difficult to push on from there but it’s ok.”
“There was a period of time there in between the yellow card, the red card and the penalty shout where it was like what are we watching here and it was a little bit unusual to say the least. But we have to look at what we did and what we didn’t do and take that into the next game.”
“There were some positives tonight, we weren’t as open at the back until we were stretched in the last 10 or 15 minutes and we still created some problems.”
“I think people would’ve looked at our recent performances and said we were a little unstructured, the way we go forward a little bit cavalier. We can be open to those sorts of comments aimed at our way.”
“At half time it definitely felt like we could hang on and nick something where we thought we could get a chance.”
“They brought Simo on, they had two centre forwards, and they almost had four up front at times. It was going to be a handful and there are areas where we need to get better so we’ll continue to work on them.
“Simo’s a great guy, a great character and he’s proved he’s good for Sydney FC tonight off the bench, so you’ve gotta take your hat off. We want to see goals like that at this stadium, I’d much rather they be ours and in future games, I’m sure they will be. Bring on Wellington next week for the Pink Day, we’re going to have a real crack at them.”
“I’m proud of the boys for the shift they put in, you know down to 10 men.”
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Paul IZZO (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (21.Michael NEILL 66’) 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (C), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Anthony CACERES (20.Anthony KALIK 76’), 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 16.Liam ROSE (6.Mitch AUSTIN 45’), 22.Jake McGING
Unused substitutes: 30.Adam Pearce (GK), 14.Daniel HEFFERNAN
Yellow cards: Fitzgerald 39’ Fitzgerald 41’, Neill 68’
Red cards: Nick Fitzgerald 41’
Sydney FC: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, ,8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (27.Mickael TAVARES 45’), 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Christopher NAUMOFF (7.Andrew HOOLE, 58’), 13.Brandon O’NEILL (18.Matt SIMON 58’), 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 19.Jacques FATY, 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT,
Unused substitutes: 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 3.Alex GERSBACH
Yellow cards: O’Neill 21’, Grant 60’
Saturday 31 October 2015
Central Coast Mariners 1
Sydney FC 3
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Attendance: 10 030
Referee: Adam Fielding