Adelaide United 4 (Isaias 29’, Mauk 35’, Djite 38’ & Sanchez 81’) Central Coast Mariners 2 (O’Donovan 16’ & 83’)
The Run Down
Despite an impressive brace by Roy O’Donovan that included a candidate for goal of the season, the Central Coast Mariners have fallen 4-2 to Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.
After a bright start from the away team, Adelaide United packed a serious punch leading into the break, finding the back of the net three times ten minutes.
Although the Mariners went into the break trailing by two, the home side created chances of their own during the opening stanza with Liam Rose operating as an instrumental weapon in attack. The 18-year-old distributed possession with ease and was a clear stand out for the Central Coast.
Similar to last week, the Mariners’ piled pressure on their opponent in the dying stages that saw Roy O’Donovan fire home a sensational volley as well as a raft of near misses from the boots of Francesco Stella and centre back, Harry Ascroft.
Full focus turns to Hyundai A-League round 26 that will see the Central Coast Mariners head to Pirtek Stadium for an encounter with the Western Sydney Wanderers, followed by a home #F3Derby to wrap up the season.
16’ O’DONOVAN GOAL: It all started with a superb through ball by Liam Rose who picked out O’Donovan on the right flank. With a lot of work ahead of him, the Irishman turned Craig Goodwin inside out and finished with a touch of class.
29’ ISAIAS GOAL: Isaias unleashed a vicious shot from outside the 18-yard-box that proved too hot for Paul Izzo to handle and levelled the scores at Coopers Stadium.
35’ MAUK GOAL: Mauk doubled the home side’s lead after breaking into the Mariners’ area, which he capped off with a close range finish.
38’ DJITE GOAL: Djite etched his name into the Adelaide United history book, becoming joint all time top goalscorer for The Reds. After firing some off-target shots throughout the first half, this one found the back of the net.
81’ PABLO SANCHEZ GOAL: Harry Ascroft fouled Pablo Sanchez in the box and the Spaniard slotted home his spot kick with ease.
83’ O’DONOVAN GOAL (2): One of the best you’ll see in any part of the world. O’Donovan took the ball on his chest and seemed to turn and volley in the same motion, his strike never looked like missing and flew into the top corner for what will be a strong candidate for Hyundai A-League goal of the season.
“Defensively we were incredibly poor tonight, we took a good lead and they were in control of the game but we were in control of ourselves,” Walmsley said.
“After the season we’ve had the fight hasn’t gone out of the boys.
“Two brilliant goals from Roy O’Donovan and a magnificent performance from Liam Rose in midfield were the two highlights for me.
“Incredible work ethic from Roy, showing the fans what they can look forward to next season and Mickey Neill continues to impress, showing that he has fully recovered from injury.
“There has been a lot of changes to this squad through out the season and the result of that is putting too many players out who haven’t had the experience they require and under varying circumstances you get pockets of great performances and pockets of errors.
“If you make one error you might get a result, if you make three in fifteen minutes it just adds to the challenge that the players already have.
“We know Roy’s pedigree, we see him train everyday and he’s showing signs that in our second season for us, if he’s given the right service, he will be a handful for any defence.
“Let’s not take anything away from Adelaide, they’re a good team fighting for the Championship and we came here wanting to put in a good performance and in patches we did.
“The experiences these players have had this season, as tough as they have been, will make them stronger. We’re actively seeking four players with much more experience and the right leadership qualities to help these lads take the next step but I am expecting big improvements next season.
“We have a more robust pool of money to play with than we had last year, we’ve probably got three times the amount that we had last year so we can bring in probably four good players.
“In our first half against Melbourne Victory [where we scored three goals] we blew them out of the water which is a demonstration of the capability of the group but those performances are too far apart at the moment.
“At 18 years of age Liam Rose ran the show for us, he’s some player,” Walmsley said.
Adelaide United: Galekovic (gk), Marrone, McGowan, La Rocca, Goodwin, Isaias, Mauk (Mells 86’), Carrusca (Sanchez 73’), Kamau (Dugandzic 78’), Djite, Cirio
Central Coast Mariners Izzo (gk), Poscoliero, Ascroft, Rose, Neill, McGing (Stella 82’), Rose, Ferreira, Garcia (Fletcher 77’), Austin (Bingham 68’), O’Donovan
Red Cards: Nil
Yellow Cards: La Rocca 15’, Mauk 32’, Austin 47’, Bingham 88’
Conditions: 21°C, dry