Outstanding Porter holds key to victory

Perhaps the form young player in the Hyundai A-League at present, Central Coast Mariners midfielder Bradley Porter will be hoping to extend his hot streak of form against Hyundai A-League high flyers the Melbourne Victory on Friday.

Perhaps the form young player in the Hyundai A-League at present, Central Coast Mariners midfielder Bradley Porter will be hoping to extend his hot streak of form against Hyundai A-League high flyers the Melbourne Victory on Friday.

Alongside the likes of Adelaide United-s Scott Jamieson and the Melbourne Victory-s Evan Berger, Porter has been as impressive as any young player to have made their mark in 2008/09.

Evidence of Porter-s value to the Mariners cause isn-t hard to find.

Last Saturday at Bluetongue Stadium, Porter played a part in each of the Mariners- goals - supplying each of the corners that would ultimately secure the home side their 3-0 triumph over beaten AFC Champions League finalists Adelaide United.

Before this, Porter also supplied the final pass for two of the Mariners- three strikes against Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, after laying on the telling ball for each of Matt Simon-s goals against the Victory at Bluetongue Stadium in Round 5.

With the confidence gained from last Saturday-s crucial result against the Reds, the Mariners and Porter go to the Victorian capital this week very much capable of an upset result that would pave the way for a Mariners occupation of top spot.

"It was an awesome result last Saturday, we knew going into these two games against Adelaide United and Melbourne that they would really shape our season and so far we-ve got half of the six points that we wanted and hopefully we can go to Melbourne and build on that," said Porter.

"I-ve been delighted to just be playing regular football, the last couple of seasons have been a little frustrating - not being able to play regularly, but now it couldn-t be going any better for me."

Porter has been as integral to the Mariners- recent successes as any other player in yellow and navy.

After two seasons with his hometown club in a full time capacity that yielded only 21 appearances in all competitions, Porter has established himself as a first team regular with the Mariners in season four - starting ten of the Mariners- eleven Hyundai A-League matches and appearing off the bench in the other.

Furthermore, Porter started each of the Mariners- 2008 Pre-Season Cup matches and netted his breakthrough goal in a competitive fixture against Sydney FC in the Mariners- second group match.

"First versus second, a top of the table clash in front of the biggest crowds in the Hyundai A-League, the atmosphere is going to be big and it-s Friday night so everyone will be watching so, without doubt, these are the games that really get you going," said Porter.

"You know what you-re going to get from Melbourne, they-ve got attacking quality right across the park, they-ve got a full squad back now - Thompson is back, Ney Fabiano is back, they-ve got a formidable team.

"They-ve got attacking midfielders and pace all over the place so we-re going to have to be on our game, we kept a clean sheet against Adelaide which is a confidence booster for the back four and hopefully we can keep another one."

The Mariners- quest for top spot in the Hyundai A-League continues on Friday, 21 November when they travel to the Telstra Dome to face table toppers the Melbourne Victory. Kick off is at 8pm.

The Mariners are next at their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 6 December when they host the Queensland Roar in Round 14. Kick off is at 6pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.