Central Coast Mariners booked their place in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 with a 1-0 win over NPL NSW Men’s 1 outfit South Coast Wolves in Wollongong on Wednesday night.
An early goal from Glen Trifiro sealed the historic result for Phil Moss’s side in the Club’s inaugural Westfield FFA Cup match.
Central Coast started the clash brightly with the former Sydney United 58 man Trifiro scoring his side’s first ever goal in the recently launched - yet already widely loved - competition, when his neat shot found the net after he linked with Joshua Rose in the 13th minute.
The Mariners had a great chance in the 26th minute when New Zealand international Storm Roux produced a superb cross to attacking ace Nick Fitzgerald, however the ex-Brisbane Roar player’s shot flew over the bar.
Pacey attacker Mitchell Duke came within centimetres of doubling the Mariners’ advantage ten minutes later, but while his clinical left foot shot beat South Coast stopper Daniel Collison it would also find the woodwork.
The yellow and navy continued to control much of the play and they had another chance to further their lead on the stroke of half time - Fitzgerald’s free kick from distance took a deflection off the wall before kissing the crossbar.
The Wolves started the second stanza well and had a few half chances to restore parity to the clash, however they failed to genuinely trouble Central Coast gloveman and 2014 Mariners Medal winner, Liam Reddy.
New Senegalese attacker Malick Mané became the 91st player to represent the yellow and navy in a competitive fixture when he was introduced for Isaka Cernak in the 66th minute.
Club captain John Hutchinson also entered the fray for goalscorer Trifiro.
South Coast substitute Jordan Murray had an opportunity to level proceedings towards the end of the game when he fired a purposeful shot from range. However fortunately for Moss’s men, Murray’s effort went high of Reddy’s goal.
While the Mariners did tire towards the end of the contest – due in no small part to the fact that Wednesday’s FFA Cup tie against South Coast was just their second game this pre-season – the experienced heads of Hutchinson, Nick Montgomery, Eddy Bosnar, Reddy, et al, ensured the yellow and navy saw out the 90 minutes of play with their lead intact to advance to the next phase of the FFA Cup at the expense of Nahuel Arrate’s gallant South Coast side.
Central Coast Mariners will discover their opponent for the next round of the Westfield FFA Cup on Friday 22 August. The draw will be shown LIVE on Fox Sports News at 5:15pm AEST.
South Coast Wolves: 30. Daniel Collison (Gk), 2. Jack Keating, 4. Michael Robinson, 5. James Baldacchino, 6. Zachary Mackenzie, 7. Chris Price (11. Mitchell Del Turco 81’), 8. Matthew Bailey (c) (12. Ben Zucco 70’), 9. Peter Simonoski, 15. Darcy Madden, 20. Joseph Lavelle (25. Jordan Murray 45’), 22. Samuel Matthews
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Thomas Hamilton (Gk), 3. Christopher Nathaniel
Yellow cards: Lavalle 5’, Mackenzie 15’, Robinson 19’
Red Cards: None
Central Coast Mariners: 12. Liam Reddy (Gk), 3. Josh Rose, 5. Zac Anderson, 8. Nick Montgomery (c), 9. Mitchell Duke, 11. Nick Fitzgerald, 15. Storm Roux, 17. Anthony Caceres, 25. Eddy Bosnar, 27. Isaka Cernak (14. Malick Mané 66’), 28. Glen Trifiro (7. John Hutchinson 66’)
Substitutes Not Used: 1. Beyhan Irmako (Gk), 18. Michael Neill, 29. Matt Sim
Yellow Cards: Bosnar 5’, Trifiro 32’, Cernak 48’
Red Cards: None
Referee: Ben Williams
Crowd: 5,238 at WIN Stadium, Wollongong