Gungahlin United FC 1 (Barac 16’) Central Coast Mariners 3 (O’Donovan 3’ & 6’, Bingham 71)
The run down
Thanks to a Roy O’Donovan brace and a classy finish by Josh Bingham, the Central Coast Mariners have rounded out their pre-season trip to Canberra with a 3-1 win over PlayStation 4 National Premier League side Gungahlin United.
The victory comes off the back of the Yellow & Navy’s 3-2 win over Canberra Olympic on Tuesday evening and finishes an intense six days of double sessions and extreme workloads that saw the players pushed to their limits physically.
The opening 15 minutes looked like a master class by the Mariners who were finding acres of space across the midfield through Anthony Caceres, Nick Fitzgerald and Anthony Kalik to link up well with O’Donovan.
After several dangerous runs the Irishman had his brace in six minutes and was unlucky to not have a hat trick in 15, but it was the home side who struck back in the 16th through Daniel Barac that was followed by two tight chances just minutes after.
The second half started off at a much slower rate with hardly a chance to speak of across the first twenty minutes. In the 66th minute of play, Nathan Tidmarsh headed over the crossbar from close range.
O’Donovan was replaced just before the 70th minute mark, the former Sunderland striker looked dangerous all night and deserved to open his account with the Mariners.
The coaching staff intended to see the squad play under fatigue and Head Coach Tony Walmsley was impressed with the performance.
3’ O’DONOVAN GOAL: O’Donovan opened his account with the Central Coast Mariners on the back of an impressive and direct run towards the box. O’Donovan opportunistically saw the keeper out of position and lobbed him from just outside the box.
6’ O’DONOVAN GOAL (2): The lead was doubled in three minutes through O’Donovan once again. After beating the Gungahlin back four his shot pounded off the upright, rebounded back onto his head for him to push home with ease.
16’ BARAC GOAL: It was the home side that struck back with a giant throw in from Tidmarsh to unleash Barac who was one on one with Liam Reddy and gave him no chance with a lobbed effort.
71’ BINGHAM GOAL: Bingham came bursting out of almost no where to pick up possession just outside the 18-yard box, break through the Gungahlin back four and finish with class in the bottom right hand corner.
“I was impressed with Roy O’Donovan, the players recognised his runs better tonight so we know that he’s got the potential to do that and if the players pick up the runs that he makes he’s very difficult to stop.”
“The opening twenty minutes were everything we could have hoped for in terms of ball movement, positive play, we were adventurous we were bold and we knew that the system we put out there we were going to be exposed. We created problems for McGing, Ascroft and Rosey because we put them in an unfamiliar style but the upside was, in possession we were really fluent."
“The work rate was amazing, players got through 90 minutes at a very good level tonight and I’m interested to see the data on how far they ran. A fantastic effort and an enterprising performance.”
“We will certainly contemplate three at the back as a plan B and I think it was a very good all round effort.”
“We’ve got work to do defensively and I don’t mean the back three tonight I mean the collective defensive approach needs to improve but from an individual perpective I can’t fault anybody.”
“I will give a special mention to Jake Adelson, who, in one moment of magic showed his immense potential.”
Gungahlin United FC 1
Central Coast Mariners 3
Gungahlin Enclosed, Canberra
Central Coast Mariners squad v Gungahlin United FC: Liam Reddy (gk), Josh Rose, Jake McGing, Harry Ascroft, Nick Montgomery, Anthony Caceres, Nick Fitzgerald, Fabio Ferreira, Anthony Kalik, Roy O’Donovan, Josh Bingham, Jake Adelson, Adam Berry, Lee Jones