Reds down depleted Mariners in FFA Cup

Adelaide United 3 (Elsey 12’, Boland 19’ & Goodwin 53’) Central Coast Mariners 0

The Central Coast Mariners have fallen to Adelaide United in Adelaide and exit the 2018 FFA Cup in what was the club’s first match of the 2018/19 pre-season.

The run down

The unavailability of seven Hyundai A-League players provided opportunities for four Central Coast Mariners Academy prospects to travel with the first team. Josh Nisbet started whilst Charles M’Mombwa and Peter Kekeris both earned minutes off the bench

There was plenty of promise from the Central Coast in the opening minutes of the first half, but it was undercut with an early goal to Adelaide, a set piece that started with Isaias and finished with a close-range volley to Jordan Elsey.

The Reds stayed on the attack and followed up with a second goal less than ten minutes later, Mirko Boland offering up an acrobatic strike from inside the box.

The Mariners’ defence worked hard to stay on top of a relentless Adelaide front third, orchestrated by Craig Goodwin whilst Connor Pain and Jack Clisby both had promising attempts on goal. Adelaide hit the sheds with 2-0 lead at the break.

The second half played at a similar pace to the first, but the Mariners were able to stem much of the threat from Adelaide spearheaded by Ryan Kitto and Goodwin. However, a first-class free kick from Goodwin found the bottom corner, putting the home side at a three-goal advantage in the 53rd minute.

The Central Coast looked to hit back on several occasions, Pain delivering another searing long-range strike that flew just wide, and Peter Kekeris used his pace down the wing on the counter-attack, but the away side couldn’t find a goal before the final whistle, the score remaining 3-0 to the Reds.

Mulvey in the media

“The better team won tonight there’s no doubt about that,” Mulvey said. “We were undone by two set pieces and didn’t defend well enough. That was our Achilles heel last season and we need to improve on that.

“It’s difficult when you throw young boys into an occasion like this but we said before we came that we had no qualms putting them in because we weren’t going to risk anyone that wasn’t quite ready.

“The big difference between the two teams today was that one had played several pre-season games and showed match sharpness, that was the big difference for me and we were punished accordingly.

“We’ve finished the first block of six weeks in the pre-season, the lads have worked extremely hard. Weeks 7-10 will be very very tough and we will keep on with our plan, we know exactly when we want to be peaking and that’s on the 21st of October.

“We’ve got quite a number of players ready to bring straight into the squad which we will announce soon. This team will be very different when the A-League starts, that is an absolute promise.

“Of course, I want them to hurt after tonight. We’re out of the FFA Cup but we need to be realistic about what's ahead of us - we're going to need to get through some situations like this to get where we want to get to," Mulvey said. 

Adelaide United FC: 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.ISAIAS, 11.Craig GOODWIN (74’ 2. Michael MARRONE), 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 31.Mirko BOLAND (79’ 16. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS), 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (71’ 10.Ken ILSØ)

Substitutes not used: 30.Isaac RICHARDS & 5.Taylor REGAN

Central Coast Mariners: 12.Adam PEARCE (GK), 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Connor PAIN, 14.Adam BERRY (87’ 28.Charles M’MOMBWA [WILLIAM] ), 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matthew SIMON (c), 20.Kalifa CISSE (63’ 27.Alec VINCI), 22.Jacob MELLING, 26.Josh NISBET (46’ 17.Peter KEKERIS)

Substitutes not used: 1.Ben KENNEDY (GK) & 29.Lewis MILLER

Yellow cards: Michael McGlinchey

Wednesday, 1 August 2018
Marden Sports Complex, Marden
Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix