Central Coast Mariners 3 (Ferreira 27, Austin 31’ & Neill 71’) Wellington Phoenix 1 (Powell 67’)
The Run Down
The Central Coast Mariners have recorded a convincing victory over Wellington Phoenix on the last day of 2015 courtesy of goals to Fabio Ferreira, Mitch Austin & Mickey Neill.
Two goals in the space of four minutes to Ferreira & Austin plus a maiden Hyundai A-League goal in the second half to Neill were enough to seal three points at Central Coast Stadium.
It was an attacking and entertaining affair on Gosford’s waterfront for the 10 073 Members and fans who turned out on New Year’s Eve.
Special mention goes to the Hyundai A-League debut starter, 18-year-old Tom Heward Belle who put in a fantastic performance that included a double save in the second half to keep his side in front.
It was a celebratory return for the powerful Mariners’ wingers who started in the same side for the first time since Hyundai A-League Round 5.
Full focus now turns to Round 14 that will see the Mariners head to Geelong to face the reigning league Champions.
27’ FERREIRA GOAL (P): It was a cracking return to the starting side for Fabio Ferreira who looked dangerous for majority of the match. The Portuguese flyer drilled home the penalty in typical ‘La Flecha’ style to open the scoring.
31’ AUSTIN GOAL: It was the Irishman, Roy O’Donovan who played creator just four minutes later. His pin perfect ball from the right gave Austin the opportunity to finish into an open net.
67’ POWELL GOAL: After some pressure from Wellington Phoenix, Blake Powell found himself on the end of a low and hard cross, the substitute finished from close range.
71’ NEILL GOAL: Mickey Neill has experienced a career hampered by injury and deserved his maiden Hyundai A-League goal. Neill cut inside Andrew Durante and finished with style into the bottom corner that sealed all three points for the Yellow & Navy.
“It feels good, it feels like I need to dig into my memory to remember last time. They’ve worked really hard, at the end of the day the players went out and did an incredible amount of work and got their reward.”
“There’s been six games this season where we’ve either lost by one or drew so the margins are pretty fine. If there’s a goal difference here and there we’re not sitting bottom, we’re sitting mid table pushing for finals.”
“It was very resourceful, it was very courageous and they played for the badge on the front of their shirt, not the name on their back.”
“The three men in midfield have got the best engines in the whole Club, we know they can go all day and we needed that, we’ve lost midfield too many times this season.”
“Tom Heward-Belle was fantastic. Composure, maturity, for an 18-year-old it was brilliant, did what we know he can.”
Central Coast Mariners: Heward-Belle (gk), Roux, Ascroft, Poscoliero, J. Rose, Montgomery (c), Neill, McGing, Ferreira (Bingham 68’), Austin (Rose 78'), O’Donovan (Heffernan 91’)
Wellington Phoenix: Moss (gk), Durante (c), Muscat, Lia, Danaskos, Gorrin, Bonevacia, Gulley (Ridenton 45’), McGlinchey, Appiah, Krishna (Powell 32’)
Scorers: Ferreira 27', Austin 30', Powell 67', Neill 70’
Yellow cards: McGing 8’, Rodriguez 26’, Muscat 27’, Lia 48’, Durante 60’, O’Donovan 60’, Bingham 68’, Bonevacia 87’, Neill 95’
Red cards: Nil
Attendance: 10 073