The Central Coast Mariners have recorded back-to-back wins with a hard-fought victory over Perth Glory thanks to super sub, Blake Powell who started and finished the winning goal at Central Coast Stadium just one minute after stepping foot on the pitch.
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Powell 78’) Perth Glory 0
The run down
A crucial three points capped off the perfect family outing at Gosford’s idyllic bayside arena where the Yellow & Navy rewarded the 8115-strong crowd who helped the Mariners over the line against Perth Glory.
The full-time whistle triggered scenes at Central Coast Stadium where Danny De Silva was crowned man-of-the-match where he ran almost 100m before dancing along the byline to deliver the assist for Powell.
It was a Sunday afternoon where the Mariners looked and played like the better team from the opening whistle, claiming back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
From the outset, the boys in stripes took a foot-hold and maintained possession, playing beautiful passing football, and constantly pressuring the Glory back four.
Jake McGing was the biggest threat of the first half, bombing down the right and whipping in numerous balls to cause havoc for the visitors.
Not to be outdone by the right back, Tom Hiariej, Andrew Hoole and Danny De Silva were making menacing runs and precision through balls, showing composure and class all through the midfield.
The best chances came midway through the first half when a McGing cross was met by a glancing header from Kwabena Appiah which looked certain to hit the bottom corner only to be denied by an outstretched Liam Reddy. Minutes later, another McGing cross raced across the face of goal with Connor Pain reaching to get the final touch that skewed just wide.
For most of the half Perth were forced to defensively scramble only just keeping the ball from hitting the back of the net, ending the first half on even terms.
The beginning of the second half was more of the same from the Mariners, dominating possession and creating chances. Again, only last ditch defending kept the Glory in the game.
As wave after wave of attack from the Mariners couldn’t make the net shake, Glory tried to edge their way back into the game in the second half.
The turning point though came midway through the second half when Wout Brama made a sneaky run into the box from no-where, but his chipped cross was flicked out for a corner. The Mariners regained their composure and continued peppering the Glory goal.
Finally, the Mariners broke through and beat the Glory’s defence. Powell made an immediate impact off the bench scoring just one minute after coming on. Powell linked up with De Silva, who broke into the box then cut back for Powell to smash his strike in off the crossbar.
After the goal, the game opened up with chances coming in a flurry for the Mariners. Hoole went close when he was found with space in the box but his off-balance shot flew over the bar. Powell was found in acres of space in stoppage time but his long-range shot narrowly flew past the target.
As the final whistle blew, the Mariners erupted with joy securing a crucial win, taking them into the top four on the ladder.
78’ POWELL (1-0): After subbing on just one minute prior, Bake Powell played in Danny De Silva, who sprinted down the wing and into the box before he cut back to Powell whose shot blasted into the net off the crossbar. De Silva started the play well inside his own half before sprinting almost 100m to dance along the byline and cut back to Powell in the box.
Paolo in the press
“From day one at pre-season we knew that we were going to be a team that was going to be able to compete and that’s all that we’ve wanted to do and that’s going to continue,” Okon said. “I don’t think we are there as a football club to be looking too far ahead. We had a good win last weekend, a good recovery and made sure we quickly turned our focus to this game because we knew how important it was to win back-to-back games.
“I think today’s conditions were really tough. The game was brought forward to encourage people to come and watch, the turn out was fantastic but it meant that from the kick off the conditions were tough.
“In the end it was a bit of a scrap, I still think that we probably did enough to win. I’m just delighted for the fact that we get that third win and we’ll move on now to Melbourne City.
“I think we weren’t clinical enough in the first half we had the header from ‘Kabsy’ which probably should go in and we had one or two that just needed a tap in. We’re getting into those areas and that’s the first part of it but you need to capitalise on it and if you don’t do it then you don’t build scoreboard pressure and you allow the opposition to stay in the game.
“It’s an area that we are working on, we’re improving and in the end, that’s where the goal comes from. A bit of Daniel De Silva magic and a cross and Powelly finishes it off. Delighted for Blake he has worked hard the past six months, last week he came on and assisted Trent for the fourth goal and he gets his reward this evening by scoring the winning goal.
“We always planned to bring him on at some stage we wanted to make the right moment, that we didn’t bring him on too early, because this is only his 2nd appearance after being out for so long and he hasn’t many games leading up so we knew that we had to get that right and not put him on too early.
“Powelly scores those goals every day in training, we know he can do that, we’re not going to take the credit for putting him on, that’s Powelly’s job, to come on and make a difference like every sub did today. Again, we’re delighted for him that he scores that winning goal.
“It’s encouraging, I think most people have heard it a million times in press conferences from coaches: if you keep a clean sheet then your half way to winning a football game. I think that’s one of the truest statements in football, if you don’t concede then you only need to score one and in the end today that was enough to see us through and get us three points.
“We know we can defend, we were so disappointed in the first few rounds that the way we gave away goals and it was totally the opposite of how it was going in pre-season. We knew we were capable, if we can keep clean sheets we know that we are going to score goals and we know that we are exciting going forward, we’re going to create opportunities.
“Jake had a tough round one game against the Jets and he was criticised heavily for it. From our side, we know that it’s not a natural position for him and he needed a few games to feel comfortable and at the moment he has delivered. His cross for Kabsy’s header in the first half was something that we were working on during the week. Like everyone, there is no guarantees here to play. We’ve got Storm Roux coming back next week, Josh Rose and Asdrubal will probably be back next week. Decisions to be made. Everyone wants to have depth and we are happy to have the headache of leaving people out because we know that it’s going to contribute to performances and to wins.
“We didn’t listen at the start when they said same old Mariners, Mariners again conceded and Mariners this and that. We didn’t listen to it then. So, we aren’t going to listen to it now. We know we are a very good football team, we know we can compete.
“We want to have our say in the competition now, right now, you say we are in the top 4, we are in the top 4. It can change very very quickly and we as a football club are conscious of where we are at,” Okon said.
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY(gk), 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 10. Danny De SILVA (12.Trent BUHAGIAR 90+1’), 11. Connor PAIN, 13. Kwabena APPIAH (8. Blake POWELL 77’), 15. Alan BARO, 21.Kye ROWLES (16. Liam ROSE 61’), 23. Wout BRAMA
Substitutes not used: 18.Tom GLOVER (gk) & 14.Adam BERRY
Yellow cards: Rowles 55’, Hiariej 61’, McGing 66’, Powell 90+2’
Perth Glory FC: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Xavier TORRES, 14.Chris HAROLD (11. Mitchell MALLIA 72’), 15.Brandon WILSON (20.Jake BRIMMER 84’), 16.Joseph MILLS, 19.Joseph KNOWLES (34.Yagoub MUSTAFA 86’), 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 29.Jeremy WALKER
Substitutes not used: 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk) & 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO
Yellow cards: Grant 90+3’
Sunday, 3 December 2017
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners