Central Coast Mariners 1 (Montgomery 90 + 2’) Perth Glory 1 (Markinkovic 79’)
The run down:
After a dominant Central Coast Mariners performance against Perth Glory at Central Coast Stadium the fixture has ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a Nick Montgomery stoppage time screamer that cancelled out a Jamie Maclaren header.
The first half was all Mariners with the home side creating multiple chances in attack, despite playing without a striker it was the combination of Nick Fitzgerald and Fabio Ferreira on the right side that was creating excitement.
The yellow and navy hit the sheds at half time, unlucky to not have a lead with Fitzgerald finding the post and several other chances just failing to hit the target. Perth came close to a goal of their own in the first half through a Nebojsa Marinkovic strike that crashed into the cross bar of Liam Reddy from distance.
Perth Glory came out firing after the break to deliver a more even second half but it was the home side that came close, again through Fitzgerald who cleared the crossbar just two minutes in.
Despite a dominant Mariners’ performance it was the westerners who opened the scoring through super sub, Maclaren. Maclaren leapt above the pack from a corner and glanced his effort inside the far post of Reddy.
Montgomery gave the home fans plenty to cheer about who turned back the clock in the 92nd minute of play and drove an amazing strike past Perth’s Jack Duncan to level the scores.
79’ MACLAREN HEADER: It was a set piece that unravelled the hard work of the Central Coast Mariners, swung in by Marinkovic. The aerial threat of substitution Jamie Maclaren was too much for the Mariners defence who leapt above the pack and glanced his header inside the far post of Liam Reddy.
90 + 2’ MONTGOMERY BOMB: Not one to feature on the scoresheet often, it was the Mariners hard man in the middle of the park who decided to step up and deliver for the Mariners. His strike from all of 25 yards out crashed into the back of the net to level the scores at the death.
6’ FERREIRA & CERNAK OUT WIDE: Across the opening five minutes of play is was the two men out wide causing all the issues for the Perth Glory defence. The first one to break was Ferreira who left Scott Jamieson in his wake to send in a dangerous cross, shortly after Cernak replicated his efforts but both crosses were evaded.
8’ MARINKOVIC STRIKE: Perth’s dangerous midfielder, Marinkovic bought a ticket from 25 yards out with a thunderbolt that crashed into the crossbar of Liam Reddy. There was a great chance for a follow up through Andy Keough whose close range effort was tipped over the crossbar by Rocket.
12’ FITZGERLAD CHANCE: It was Nick Fitzgerald who was the start and finish to a near scoring opportunity for the Mariners, he played a ball wide out to Ferreira who again broke down the right and delivered a low, precision cross to Fitzgerald who continued his run. Fitzgerald struck his effort from the edge of the area that just glanced past the apex.
20’ FITZGERLAD CHANCE: Fitzy was unlucky not to have his name on the scoresheet after the first half, his second opportunity again developed from a Ferreira ball that slid through the Perth defence after Dino Djulbic coughed up possession in a dangerous area. Fitzgerald had a 50-50 challenge with Perth’s keeper, which he won but his lunging effort bounced back out off the upright.
47’ CERNAK FANCY FOOTWORK: Cernak continued his strong opening first half by creating another chance for Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald found possession just outside the area but his curling effort just cleared the cross bar.
54’ CACERES FANCY FOOTWORK: Caceres was the next Mariner to dance between the Glory defenders, through out the 90 minutes “Cass” was untouchable in large parts of the match, which this time resulted in him being fouled twice in the middle of the park. Play resumed as Caceres offloaded to John Hutchinson who played a precision ball through to a charging Ferreira who’s shot sailed just wide of the upright.
67’ MARINKOVIC STRIKES AGAIN: The Serbian continued to pose a threat from distance for the Mariners, after sharp build up by Mitch Nichols, Marinkovic took a shot from the edge of the area that took a layer of paint off the post.
76’ REDDY CHARGES: Maclaren broke into acres of space for what he thought would be a one-on-one opportunity, only to be shut down by Rocket Reddy who charged off the line to make a solid tackle and end Glory’s attacking threat.
THE FINAL 20 MINUTES: Mayhem either way saw goals fly into both ends of the pitch, the substitution for Maclaren in the 63rd minute made all the difference for Perth, the young attacker struck in the 79th minute. His goal was only to be cancelled out by the stoppage time effort of Montgomery.
“Look, had we been in here talking about a 1-0 (loss) it would have been really deflating, 60 odd percent possession in the first half, hit the post so we felt the opportunity in the first half was enough to win the game. Thankfully Monty has popped up with a screamer at the end which has given everyone a lift.”
“There was a period in the second half when they held possession, it was the only time in the game, it was about 10-15 minutes they held good possession, that’s when I knew we were a little bit leggy. There was a sense of what can we do at that point, I wouldn’t have said we’d give it away but they dug in. It was outstanding.”
“Today was interesting with the changes in our backline through suspension and now Storm Roux is away for a couple of weeks on international duty.”
“We talked today about execution and for all the possession we had today we really want to be doing better when we get into the front third.”
“We haven’t scored many goals all season, whether that’s impacted on our confidence, you could assume maybe it has. Mentality is one of the things we work on, we want to have a positive mindset, we want to be a team that has a crack and I’m happy if someone has 10 shots and misses 10 because at the point when the 11th one goes in is when you’re back.”
“A key focus since I’ve came in has been: how do we go from a defensive brand of football to a more proactive style? We’ve spent a lot of time working in transition this week because we knew Perth flood forward with pace – they didn’t do that particularly well to be fair and it was all about our proactive mentality to be there in numbers before they were.”
“We’ve got a really tough run of games to finish on, the opportunity is to go and do something special in those games. I would love for the players to have that experience to look back on the eight games I’ve been here and say they’ve done OK. If that’s the reference point that next season starts on then great.”
Central Coast Mariners 1
Perth Glory 1
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Ben Williams
Central Coast Mariners: 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO (15.Matthew SIM 25’), 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c) (14.Travis MAJOR 85’), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 23.Isaka CERNAK (20.Anthony KALIK 69’), 26.Fabio FERREIRA
Substitutes not used: 16.Liam ROSE, 30. Adam PEARCE
Yellow cards: 23.Isaka CERNAK 29’, 3.Josh ROSE 50’
Perth Glory FC: 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS 86’), 11.Richard GARCIA, 17. Mitchell NICHOLS (27.Dragan PALJIC 17’), 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA (15.Jamie MACLAREN 63’), 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
Substitutes not used: 28.Denis KRAMAR, 30. Jordan THURTELL (gk)
Yellow cards: 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC 32’, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH 72’