Preview: Central Coast Mariners v North Queensland Fury
None shall pass! Yellow Army, it’s time to turn Bluetongue Stadium into a fortress once more as Mariners’ impenetrable defence prepares for another shutout.
Central Coast Mariners v North Queensland Fury Saturday 2nd October 5:15pm Bluetongue Stadium
They-ve snuck up on the blind side. While Perth were receiving all of the plaudits in the early part of the season and now Adelaide are setting tongues wagging, Central Coast Mariners- ascent to third place on the ladder has gone almost unnoticed. Of course, such quiet success shouldn-t be surprising.
Mariners go about their business with no fuss and no fanfare - just plenty of hard work, dedication and an unshakable will to win for their beloved Yellow Army. And they-re an organised bunch too. Graham Arnold has got his troops so well drilled that they have now gone an impressive 313 minutes without conceding a goal.
Not since just after half-time in the draw with Sydney back in Week 4 have they let one in. Unbeaten at home and having suffered just one defeat all season - in Wellington, where no team comes away with three points - Mariners are a force to be reckoned with in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
While Mariners have been quietly mounting a challenge for silverware, another team that was receiving perhaps slightly premature early-season plaudits was North Queensland Fury.
Having shot out of the traps like a bullet, their season quickly began to unravel after suffering their first defeat in Week 4. Now, with their third away game in a row, Franz Straka-s Green Army hope to make up some of the ground they have lost, but it will be a tough ask against a side they have never beaten, especially without midfielder Ufuk Talay, who received a two-match suspension for an off-the-ball incident during Fury's loss to Wellington.
When you head down to what is sure to be a full-blooded encounter on Saturday, don-t be too tardy in taking your seat. In both clashes between the two sides at Bluetongue Stadium last season, Mariners opened the scoring within the first three minutes. Little under a year ago, Matt Simon took just 14 seconds to find the net.
In both games at Bluetongue though, Fury pegged their opponents back to earn a draw. The away side would certainly take a similar result on Saturday night as they end a hat-trick of tough away fixtures before finally getting back to the familiarity of the Dairy Farmers Stadium and playing in front of their own Green Army again in Week 10.
It-s sure to be an intriguing match up on Saturday afternoon between a home side that neither scores nor concedes many and a visiting team that has had plenty of goal action at either end of the pitch so far in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season. Something has to give!
Yellow Army, what a season your team is having! With a big turnout on Saturday, you can help their amazing run of form continue. It-s time to crank up the volume and ensure it-s another fantastic weekend to be wearing the yellow and navy.
Tickets on sale now from ticketek