McKinna rues "two points lost"

Central Coast Mariners football manager Lawrie McKinna has been left to wonder what might have been, after watching his side miss the chance to snatch what would have been a dramatic last gasp victory over Sydney FC.

Central Coast Mariners football manager Lawrie McKinna has been left to wonder what might have been, after watching his side miss the chance to snatch what would have been a dramatic last gasp victory over Sydney FC.

Adam Kwasnik saw his penalty agonizingly saved by Clint Bolton in injury time, and Bolton came to Sydney-s rescue again seconds later to deny Dylan Macallister one-on-one.

"We were very confident, if we pick up by 10-20 percent we would have gone on and won the game," McKinna said.

"As the game went on we slowly went into it and having a penalty in the 90th minute then another golden chance, you-d expect one of those to go on and win the game.

"Because of the two golden chances, it-s two points lost at the finish. Over 90 minutes it was probably a fair result, but at the end, the way the game panned out, we-ve lost two points.

"It was there to be won after (Adam) Kwasnik-s (penalty), then McGlinchey has set up another great chance for Dylan and while Dylan-s hit it well enough, Bolton has earned his money, he pulled off a few great saves," McKinna said.

Despite being forced to settle for a draw, McKinna could take plenty of positives out of the way his side learned from the mistakes of last week against Newcastle.

"At half time we felt we were average, we didn-t think we were doing that well, but we were well in the game, whereas last week we totally dominated and had nothing at half time. I wouldn-t say Sydney dominated, but we didn-t do that well, but we were still in the game.

"We-re not Barcelona, we can-t go out and always keep the ball, we had an off night in that way, but Danny made one great save with his hand, a good reflex save, and one long range shot from Bridge. That-s all he had to do all night. Can you imagine how good we-d be if we did keep the ball?" Said McKinna.

A major positive to come out of the Mariners performance was another fine defensive display, they-ve conceded just one goal in three matches, alongside the Gold Coast as the best in the Hyundai A-League.

"Two clean sheets in three games, and the goal last week was probably our fault, switching off in the first couple of minutes (of the second half). There were certain parts today where we were good, and there were certain points where we were probably off the pace a wee bit.

"When the boys clicked in that last fifteen minutes we created good chances and put them under pressure. Last week we dropped off in the second half, this week we became stronger in the second half. With those two golden opportunities at the end, we have to finish it off,” McKinna said.

Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson was equally as disappointed as his manager, with a match which may have finished so differently.

"First half we were pretty flat, we didn-t keep the ball well enough. As a whole, defensively we were pretty decent, but the problem is we can-t keep defending, giving the ball away and they just keep coming and mounting attacks on us.

"Especially Sydney today, they pushed four up front and yes we handled it well, but if we do that every game and keep giving the ball away, eventually you are going to cop goals.

"We-ve definitely got to work on keeping the ball a bit more, but the positives are we kept another clean sheet and could have nicked it at the end," said Wilkinson.

The Mariners- next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season is Friday, 4 September. Kick-off is at 8pm at Canberra Stadium. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

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