Central Coast Mariners 3 (Ascroft 12’, Bingham 30’ & Austin 35’) Melbourne Victory 3 (Berisha 60’ & 90’ + Thompson 66’)
The Run Down
A gut wrenching second half has resulted in a 3-3 draw between the Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory in Geelong. The Yellow & Navy cruised to a comfortable 3-0 lead in the opening 45 minutes thanks to goals via Harry Ascroft, Josh Bingham & Mitch Austin to make for a Hyundai A-League classic.
But it was the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions that came home with a wet sail to record three unanswered goals and salvage a point.
A brace to Besart Berisha plus a goal to substitute Archie Thompson saw both sides share the points on what was an exciting and entertaining night of football at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium.
Special mention to our attacking stocks tonight, especially in the opening 45 minutes who were clinical in front of goal.
Full attention now turns to Hyundai A-League round 15 where the Mariners will face off against Adelaide United for the first time this season.
12’ ASCROFT GOAL: For a centre back he’s making a habit of scoring, similar to his goal against Sydney FC just two weeks ago, Ascroft lurched forward for a set piece and headed home with class.
30’ BINGHAM GOAL: What a classy finish by Bingham to double the lead and bag his second goal in the Hyundai A-League set up by a precision Ferreira through ball. Bingham broke free but had plenty to do; his shot was low and hard across Danny Vukovic who was beaten by the young striker with ease.
35’ AUSTIN GOAL: The Mariners third goal of the night fell to Mitch Austin after the powerful winger found himself in acres of space. This time Bingham played creator and threaded the needle from just inside his own half that allowed Austin to break free and fire home the finish.
60’ BERISHA PENALTY: Ascroft picked up a harsh yellow card for his challenge in the box and Berisha made no mistake with the spot kick.
66’ THOMPSON GOAL: After substituting on just moments before, an advantageous Archie jagged another back for Victory. Kosta Barbarouses had a shot from distance, his effort fired off the crossbar and Thompson was there to poke home from close range.
90’ BERISHA GOAL: Who else but Berisha to decide a game for Melbourne Victory, his header from point blank range resulted in a draw.
“It’s not in my nature to take a draw, but when you’re three all with about three minutes of stoppage time you want to hang in there, so I’ll take that.”
“They’re a resilient side, they’re not the Champions for nothing and Barbarouses was on fire so we found it hard to contain him.”
“Once they got the penalty which was maybe contentious, momentum shifted and we weren’t comfortable enough or composed enough in possession which is what we spoke about at half time.”
“When we started the season we started with an open style and we were asking a lot of our young defenders that perhaps they weren’t ready for but we’re still trying to play higher up the pitch, we’re still trying to entertain and I guess tonight was an entertaining game.”
“The boys defended well but couldn’t keep the ball well enough in the second half.”
“It happened to us in Perth away, we were 1-0 up and because they’d had a series of results go against them, the anxiety starts to creep so we’ve been great this season when we’ve gone behind because the shackles are off.”
Central Coast Mariners: Heward-Belle (gk), Roux, Poscoliero, Ascroft, J. Rose, Montgomery (c), McGing, Neill, Ferreira (Uskok 90’), Austin (Stella 79’), Bingham (L. Rose 70’)
Melbourne Victory: Vukovic (gk), Georgievski, Broxham (c), Delpierre, Murnane, Mahazi, Bozanic (Ansell 62’), Barbarouses, Finkler (Thompson 62’), Ben Khalfallah (Ingham 77’), Berisha
Scorers: Ascroft 12’, Bingham 30’, Austin 35’, Berisha (p) 60’ & 90', Thompson 66’
Yellow cards: Ben Khalfallah 52’, Poscoliero 53’, Ascroft 60’, Georgievski 68’, Montgomery 68’, Roux 87’