Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets shared the spoils in the #F3Derby on Sunday, playing out a 1-1 draw in front of 11,031 fans at Hunter Stadium.
After a relatively even first half in which both sides created few chances, the game came to life in the second stanza with both sides finding the back of the net shortly after the break.
Edson Montano slotted the first goal of the game just two minutes after the interval after an unlucky deflection in the box from a Mariners perspective gifted the Ecuadorian the chance to score. Montano made no mistake from close range, lashing a powerful right foot shot beyond Liam Reddy.
Montano’s goal brought the Mariners to life, with Nick Fitzgerald and Glen Trifiro – who hit the woodwork with a free kick – both coming close to levelling the score.
But it was the yellow and navy’s hungry Hungarian, Richárd Vernes – who showed glimpses of his attacking best throughout the game – who would restore parity to the contest. Vernes steamed into the box in the 55th minute, latching on to Michael Neill’s slick pass and guiding his shot past Ben Kennedy.
Central Coast looked the stronger side after Vernes’ first competitive goal for the Club, though Newcastle did manage to fashion the odd threatening attacking foray. Ex-Mariner Marcos Flores struck the cross bar in the 68th minute with just Reddy to beat.
Fitzgerald had seemingly strong claims for a penalty for the Mariners waved away in the 83rd minute when he went down under pressure, while substitute Matt Sim had the best opportunity to win the clash with just two minutes of regulation time remaining. Weaving his way into the box, Sim struck his right foot shot on target, but Kennedy showed great reflexes to push the effort away for a corner.
Mariners’ debutant Josh Bingham – the Club’s Foxtel National Youth League captain – tried a spectacular bicycle kick late on, though he couldn’t make the connection necessary as he attempted to net what would have been a quite remarkable winner.
So 1-1 it stayed in the Hunter – the Mariners move back into the Hyundai A-League’s top six on goal difference to Melbourne City, while the Novocastrians remain winless this campaign.
Newcastle Jets 1 (Montano 48’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Vernes 55’)
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Referee: Shaun Evans
Central Coast Mariners: 3. Josh ROSE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5. Zac ANDERSON, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 9. Mitchell DUKE (28. Josh BINGHAM 75’), 10. Anthony CACERES (23. Isaka CERNAK 85’), 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 17. Richard VERNES (15. Matthew SIM 77’), 18. Glen TRIFIRO, 21. Michael NEILL
Substitutes not used: 1. Matthew NASH (Gk), 25. Eddy BOSNAR
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets: 2. Scott NEVILLE, 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Adrian MADASCHI, 7. JERONIMO (11. Andrew HOOLE 66’), 10. Marcos FLORES (8. Zenon CARAVELLA 82’), 13. Edson MONTANO, 14. Billy CELESKI, 18. Allan WELSH (9. Joel GRIFFITHS 74’), 20. Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 21. Sam GALLAWAY, 23. David CARNEY
Substitutes not used: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk), 16. Jacob PEPPER
Yellow cards: Jeronimo, Gallaway, Madaschi, Jaliens
Red cards: Nil