Central Coast Mariners 1 (J. Rose 2’) Western Sydney Wanderers 0
The run down
John Hutchinson and Matt Simon left Central Coast Stadium for the last time as victors after the Central Coast Mariners overcame Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 in the pairs’ final match for the yellow and navy on home turf.
Josh Rose’s 2nd minute strike proved the difference in Gosford, with the defenders left boot deciding a Mariners’ match for the second time this season - having done so against Adelaide United in a 2-1 win two months earlier.
The result will play second fiddle, however, to a night where the Mariners’ faithful bid farewell to two club legends in Simon and Hutch, with the latter bringing the curtain down on a career spanning all ten seasons and 226 Hyundai A-League appearances in yellow and navy (with two remaining in Wellington & Melbourne).
2’ ROSE GOAL - Anthony Caceres dispossessed Romeo Castelen with some fancy footwork in a dangerous area and offloaded to Anthony Kalik on his starting debut. The AIS product turned swiftly and opened up the Wanderers’ defence with a through ball for the on-rushing Josh Rose, who beat Dean Bouzanis at his near post for his second of the season.
8’ LA ROCCA HEADER - After earning a free kick on the right touchline, Nick Kalmar floated a delightful cross into the Mariners box. Liam Reddy misred the flight and the ball fell onto the unsuspecting head of Iacapo La Rocca, who could only nod it out for a goal kick.
12’ CASTELEN SHOT - The Wanderers Dutch winger found himself in space on the edge of the 18-yard box, who unleashed a fizzling shot that was athletically parried away by Mariners custodian, Reddy.
13’ KALIK STRIKE - Full of confidence after claiming the assist for the opening goal, Kalik tried his luck from distance but his effort sailed over the cross bar.
20’ BULUT SHOT - Quick to spark the counter, Popovic's men found themselves in a three-on-two after forcing a turnover. Kerem Bulut ended up with the ball at his feet and unleashed from distance, but his effort floated into the stands.
24’ REDDY STANDS TALL - Alusine Fofanah charged towards the Mariners’ goal and attempted to chip Reddy as he played sweeper keeper on the edge of the box. The ball smashed ‘Rocket' in the head; Montgomery’s head then saved the follow up, before Reddy calmly smothered the third attempt.
37' CACERES FOOTWORK - The Mariners number 10 stepped past a diving Wanderer and left another in his wake as he broke into the 18-yard box, but failed to direct his strike on target.
52' CASTELEN SHOT - Bulut made a nuisance of himself in the Wanderers’ attacking third and laid off for Romeo Castelen who blasted from the edge of the box, but could only rustle the side netting.
56' POLJAK HEADER - Mateo Poljak was left unmarked for a Wanderers corner, but his effort found nothing but the bread basket of Reddy.
59’ FITZGERALD FIRST TOUCH - Jason Trifiro turned the ball over and the Mariners almost made them pay the ultimate price. Ferreira showed skill to pass several Wanderers before linking up with fresh substitute, Nick Fitzgerald, Fitzy’s first time strike glanced the upright.
64' CERNAK GOES CLOSE - Some more dynamic lead-up work from the home side saw Fitzgerald end up with the ball near the corner flag. He cut back intelligently for Isaka Cernak, but the 25-year old fired wide of the mark.
72' FERREIRA SHOT - Man of the moment, Hutchinson picks out Ferreira with a slick pass, and his pace saw him through on goal but Bouzanis made himself big to block the ensuing shot.
81’ HUTCHINSON OVATION - As the substitution board is lifted and the number seven is lit up in red, the 9,458-strong crowd rise to thank Hutchinson for his immense contribution to the club both on and off the field. An era sadly draws to an end. #ThanksHutch
83’ SIMON SWANSONG - East Gosford junior Matt Simon returns to the field from injury for the last time at Central Coast Stadium, and the crowd stands as one again to thank another Central Coast Mariners legend.
“It was well deserved, with Brisbane aside we’ve had a couple of good performances and taken little from them, so I really wanted the hard work they’ve put in over the last couple of weeks to be rewarded.”
“That’s Storm’s first start since I’ve been here and I’ve been looking forward to seeing him. He came back so fresh after playing 90 minutes for New Zealand. He’s a proactive attacking fullback and he supported Ferreira really well.”
“Kalik was fantastic tonight, he’s training performances over the past two weeks have been stunning. It was an intuitive choice (to select Kalik) made late yesterday at the back end of training; I just thought that it’s time. He certainly showed what capabilities he has going forward.”
“We are in the entertainment business and as the smallest club in the league we have to play with an expansive, risky, adventurous playing style. It is a very rudimentary work in progress at the moment but really good signs.”
“Hutch and Monty both had solid games, they’ve both been great since I’ve been here. Hutch doesn’t get enough recognition for his ability because he can actually play football so I was pleased for him tonight.”
“Young Rosey that came on is almost becoming a natural successor (to Hutchinson) and he’s starting to add the robustness and physicality that he’s going to need moving forward to take that and run with it.”
“After Brisbane I think there was almost an expectation that we might go back to a cautious approach for the next game but that’s not the way we’re going to play football anymore.”
Central Coast Mariners 1
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Referee: Adam Fielding
Central Coast Mariners: 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c) (16.Liam ROSE 81’), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 20.Anthony KALIK (11.Nick FITZGERALD 59’), 23.Isaka CERNAK (19.Matt SIMON 83’), 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Fabio FERREIRA
Substitutes not used: 1.Matthew NASH (GK), 24. Hayden MORTON
Yellow cards: Anderson 47’, Montgomery 94’
Western Sydney Wanderers: 6.Antony GOLEC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kerem BULUT, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA (23.Jason TRIFIRO 59’), 20.Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 25.Sam GALLAWAY (39.Shayne D’CUNHA 89’), 31.Alusine FOFANAH 33.Nick KALMAR (38.Steve KUZMANOVSKI 69’), 37. Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS
Substitutes not used: 1.Ante COVIC (GK), 9.Tomi JURIC
Yellow cards: Gallaway 16’, Covic 53’, Fofanah 62’