Patrick pounces as points shared in Perth

The Central Coast Mariners have remained well and truly in touch with the Hyundai A-League top three after a hard fought 1-all draw with Perth Glory in week 18 at nib Stadium tonight.

The Central Coast Mariners have remained well and truly in touch with the Hyundai A-League top three after a hard fought 1-all draw with Perth Glory in week 18 at nib Stadium tonight.

Goals at either end of the 90 minutes ensured the points would be shared in what was an exciting and often torrid encounter.

Former Central Coast Coastie Josh Mitchell fired his side ahead just four minutes in before veteran Dutchman Patrick Zwaanswijk proved the hero for the Mariners, bobbing up with three minutes remaining of normal time to head home his third of the campaign.

“Overall Glory were probably the better side tonight but we will take a point,” said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold.

“You have to give full credit to the Glory tonight, they had the bye last week, Fergie (Perth Coach Ian Ferguson) has obviously freshened them up and they came out with the intention of showing us that they are much better than what they were when we played them in Sydney.”

The Glory had tasted success against the Mariners just twice in the history of the Hyundai A-League but took a big step toward adding a third just four minutes in.

After winning a corner, Robbie Fowler drifted a dangerous ball to the near post and Josh Mitchell was able to get a touch on it, but unluckily for Rostyn Griffiths, so did he, and could only watch on as his deflection looped into the back of the net.

Pedj Bojic and Matt Simon tried their luck from distance in the opening ten minutes to no avail, while Adam Kwasnik attempted a spectacular overhead at the back post after Michael McGlinchey did well to beat Jamie Coyne and whip a dangerous ball in.

Fowler headed wide at one end and Mathew Ryan-s ensuing goal-kick was flicked on by McGlinchey, to put Simon through one-on-one, the former East Gosford striker slid his effort wide though, under pressure from the advancing Velaphi.

Oliver Bozanic deflected a shot wide from the edge of the box and Simon latched on to a Bozanic corner to loop a header agonizingly over the bar as the clock wound down, allowing the hosts to hold on to their slender margin at the break.

There was a slight hint of handball as the Mariners pressed early after the restart but Gerard Parsons waved away Matt Simon-s appeal, despite indications Skorich may have indeed handled, but the Perth youngster had his own misfortune at the other end, after having a goal disallowed for offside.

Fowler should have doubled the advantage five minutes in but headed over from point blank range, before Ryan did well to get down low and parry a fierce Coyne drive around the post.

Patricio Perez was introduced early in the second stanza and his creative spark was noticeable from the outset, feeding McGlinchey who in turn found Simon to test Velaphi.

Daniel McBreen also made his entrance after the restart and went close against his former club from a tight angle just after the hour mark, as the Mariners enjoyed the weight of possession for an extended period.

Josh Risdon deflected a dangerous Simon effort over the bar while Bozanic fired well over soon after.

Josh Rose found the back of the net after a McBreen flick on but was adjudged to have been offside, however as the clock wound down, the Mariners wouldn-t be denied for a second time.

Michael McGlinchey, who had been impressive all night, did well to beat his man down the right and delivered a fantastic ball toward the back post, before Risdon headed back into the mix under heavy pressure from McBreen, and Zwaanswijk rose highest to send the Mariners into raptures.

McGlinchey could have sealed it as he forced Velaphi into a full stretch dive late on, before Fowler sent a free kick narrowly past the top corner, ensuring honours would be shared after a thrilling battle.

“They did very well in midfield tonight, they shut down (Mustafa Amini and) Rostyn Griffiths as well. Our midfield has done exceptionally well this year with McGlinchey, Bozanic and Rostyn, and I thought they did a very good job on them, they shut us down and made it very difficult to play,” Arnold said.

And the Mariners mentor was impressed with the input of Daniel McBreen, who played a big part in earning the Mariners the equaliser after returning from suspension, against one of his former clubs.

“I tried to change things for us because it wasn-t working for us. A couple of players were struggling with the heat. To put big Danny up front, he-s a hero over here and has a great reputation and I wanted a reaction from him and in the end he did well for us after great action from Michael McGlinchey,” said Arnold.

The Central Coast Mariners next match of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season will be against Gold Coast United next Sunday, 19 December at Skilled Park, Robina. Kick-off is at 4:00pm QST (5:00pm AEDT) and entry is FREE.

Match Details

Perth Glory 1 (Mitchell 4-) Central Coast Mariners 1 (Zwaanswijk 87-)

Perth Glory: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2. Josh MITCHELL, 3. Jamie COYNE, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 9. Robbie FOWLER, 12. Scott NEVILLE (c) (13. Tommy AMPHLETT 20-), 14. Steven McGARRY, 15. Howard FONDYKE, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 22. Anthony SKORICH (11. Branko JELIC 80-), 24. Joshua RISDON.

Subs not Used: 20. Alex PEARSON (gk), 23. Andrija JUKIC.

Yellow Cards: Fowler 32- Red Cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 11. Oliver BOZANIC (17. Chris DOIG 77-), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Mustafa AMINI (10. Patricio PEREZ 52-), 23. Adam KWASNIK (2. Daniel McBREEN 52-).

Subs not Used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: Nil Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Gerard PARSONS Crowd: 6,536 @ nib Stadium, Perth