Mighty Mariners dig deep for fighting victory in the West

The Central Coast Mariners have now moved into outright second spot after an incredibly hard fought 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at nib Stadium tonight.

The Central Coast Mariners have now moved into outright second spot after an incredibly hard fought 2-1 victory over Perth Glory at nib Stadium tonight.

Two goals in as many first half minutes to Daniel McBreen and Matt Simon secured the victory, sending the Mariners three points clear of Adelaide in second spot, and with a real chance to cut Brisbane-s lead at the top to just four points with victory over Sydney FC in Sunday afternoon-s blockbuster at Bluetongue Stadium.

“We got a bit too casual, we sat back and let them get back in the game, and to be fair I think when they had ten men they dictated the play more often. It-s something we have done a few times now this season and we have to work hard to kill teams off and not give them a sniff,” said Mariners striker Daniel McBreen.

The Mariners have lost just twice in the west in six seasons of the Hyundai A-League but the hosts had two half chances to take an early lead as Mile Sterjovski forced Chris Doig into some strong defending, before Mathew Ryan tipped a Tommy Amphlett shot over the bar.

Matt Simon went on a well timed run to latch on to a delightful through ball from John Hutchinson 11 minutes in before shooting over, but the match seemed to head into somewhat of a coma, before McBreen - one of four changes to Graham Arnold-s starting eleven - resuscitated it in emphatic fashion against his old club.

Michael McGlinchey-s corner was headed back across the face of goal by young right-back Trent Sainsbury, allowing McBreen to clinically head home inside the back post, and sparking one of the more dramatic ten minute stanzas in the League-s history.

Just a minute later Sainsbury would again be provider, a lovely run down the right and clinical delivery found Matt Simon, who did well to finish first time and double the Mariners advantage.

There was little time to take a breath before the Yellow and Navy found themselves in front of goal again, after McBreen was the victim of a very clumsy challenge by Andy Todd inside the area.

Simon stepped up aiming to convert from the spot for his 11th of the season, only to see Tando Velaphi go the right way and deny the Mariners a third.

There was still more drama even before the half hour mark, as Jamie Harnwell was correctly shown a straight red card by referee Jared Gillett, for an obvious elbow on Simon as the pair clashed in mid-air.

Despite being a man down, the Glory began to take it to the visitors in the final quarter of an hour before half time, and got their reward, as Todd Howarth lashed home at the back post after a good ball in from skipper Scott Neville.

Two bookings within five minutes of the resumption further halted the Mariners quest for a third goal, while Perth custodian Tando Velaphi was also a major player in keeping the buffer to one goal.

McGlinchey fired at Velaphi after the Mariners broke allowing Simon to switch the play to the right.

The Mariners- Kiwi international was causing plenty of problems, and Velaphi was again called upon after McGlinchey turned inside Howarth and sent a dangerous curling ball goalbound.

Tommy Amphlett and McBreen both headed wide at opposite ends but it was the Yellow and Navy forced into doing more of the defensive work as the clock wound down.

Scott Neville fired over after the Mariners were forced to scramble with the ball pinballing around dangerously in the area, while teenager Adam Taggart had chances at last-gasp heroics.

Twice he fired at Mathew Ryan in the latter stages of the match, but both times watched on as the young custodian expertly extinguished the danger, and, Perth-s frustration at not being able to grind down the resolute Mariners finally told, as Adriano Pellegrino picked up his second yellow card deep into additional time for a reckless challenge on Mariners substitute Michael Baird, reducing his side to nine men for the final seconds.

“We knew that every minute that went by they would have more confidence and we needed to try to kill them off early. Unfortunately we didn-t do that but we were lucky enough to come away with the three points,” said McBreen.

The Central Coast Mariners next Hyundai A-League clash will be against Sydney FC this Sunday, 23 January at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford. Kick-off is at 5:00pm AEDT and tickets are available by CLICKING HERE or by phoning 132 849.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 Howarth 38- Central Coast Mariners 2 McBreen 22-, Simon 23-

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2. Josh MITCHELL, 4. Andy TODD, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 9. Robbie FOWLER (8. Victor SIKORA 77-), 12. Scott NEVILLE (c) (15. Howard FONDYKE 90+4-), 13. Tommy AMPHLETT, 14. Steven McGARRY (26. Adam TAGGART 84-), 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI.

Subs Not Used: 20. Alex PEARSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: McGarry 18-, Velaphi 26-, Pellegrino 58-, 90+3- Red Cards: Harnwell 28- Pellegrino 90+3-

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (22. Mustafa AMINI 59-), 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON (13. Michael BAIRD 74-).

Subs not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk), 12. Matthew LEWIS.

Yellow Cards: Bojic 16-, Griffiths 46-, Bozanic 49- Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Jarred GILLETT Crowd: 6,828