Unlucky Mariners succumb to red-hot Roar

A gallant Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League side has succumbed to its first loss of the new campaign, going down 1-nil to a star studded Brisbane Roar outfit at Ballymore.

A gallant Central Coast Mariners Westfield W-League side has succumbed to its first loss of the new campaign, going down 1-nil to a star studded Brisbane Roar outfit at Ballymore.

Despite being written off by many ahead of the 2009 season, the Mariners- women deservedly headed into the clash on top of the table following wins over Sydney FC and Adelaide United, but knew a Roar squad chock full of Westfield Matildas would prove an altogether greater challenge.

For the most part, the gutsy Mariners more than held their own, only to finally concede an 81st minute goal, which would ultimately prove the match-winner.

"It was such a tight game, and I don-t think many of the girls had much gas left in the tank," said Mariners W-League head coach Stephen Roche.

"It may have been a coaches nightmare - there were plenty of heart palpitations - but I-m sure the crowd got their money-s worth, it was real end to end stuff, and lived up to its top-of-the-table billing."

Brisbane kick-started the high octane action, Jo Burgess blazing over after seven minutes, before a dangerous cross in from Kate McShea forced the Central Coast to clear off the line just minutes later.

The yellow and navy worked their way into the contest though, and Kendall Fletcher went within millimetres of giving her side the lead.

After winning a free kick 20 yards out, the American stepped up to send a powerful, swerving set piece seemingly goalbound, only to agonizingly witness it cannon off the post.

A minute later Jessica Seaman fired a shot at Casey Dumont, but the Roar shot-stopper dealt with it comfortably, but the Mariners were showing they weren-t ready to succumb to their more fancied opponent.

Courtney Beutel was looking dangerous for the Roar, giving Central Coast ‘keeper Jillian Loyden plenty of work, but as she had been in previous weeks, the Coast custodian was proving a rock at the back.

Similarly, Dumont was also super-impressive between the sticks, pulling out a world-class save to deny a thunderous Kelly Golebiowski effort which h appeared destined for the top corner.

With both sides creating plenty of chances it seemed only inevitable someone would find a breakthrough, disappointingly though, it would come at the wrong end of the park for Roche-s charges.

Coming on as a substitute, Sarah McDonnell used her first touch of the match to launch a 30 yard effort, to inflict what would prove the fatal blow to the Mariners- hopes.

A goal down maybe, but the cue certainly wasn-t in the rack, and the Central Coast put the defending Westfield W-League champions under the pump throughout the closing stages, forcing the hosts to scramble in order to preserve the advantage.

While the result wasn-t what Roche had hoped for, he was full of praise for his side.

"They (Brisbane) were able to replace Young Matildas with Matildas, and had four Matildas not even in their 15, whereas we have none, so it was a great effort by the girls.

"The pleasing thing is we-ll get better, and it creates a few selection headaches for me. Both substitutes did well when they came on and our midfield three were outstanding.

"Everyone had to be at their best today, and while we didn-t get the result we wanted, it showed we are very much in the mix," said Roche.

The Mariners- next match of the Westfield W-League season will be against Newcastle Jets next Saturday, 24 October at EnergyAustralia Stadium. Kick-off is at 4:00pm.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here.

Match Details

Central Coast Mariners 1. Jillian LOYDEN (gk), 2. Caitlin COOPER (c), 3. Lyndsay GLOHE, 4. Rachael DOYLE, 5. Jessica SEAMAN (12. Samantha SPACKMAN 67-), 8. Kelly GOLEBIOWSKI, 9. Renee ROLLASON, 10. Kendall FLETCHER, 11. Michelle HEYMAN, 16. Jenna KINGSLEY (13. Trudy CAMILLERI 81-) 19. Lydia VANDENBERGH

Unused Subs 20. Rachel COOPER (gk), 7. Teresa POLIAS.

Yellow Cards ROLLASON 41- Red Cards None Goals None

Brisbane Roar 1. Casey DUMONT (gk), 2. Kate McSHEA, 4. Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 5. Brooke SPENCE, 6. Joanne BURGESS (14. Sasha McDONNELL 79-), 7. Pam BIGNOLD (19. Ellen BEAUMONT 80-), 8. Elise KELLOND-KNIGHT, 11. Aivi LUIK, 13. Tameka BUTT, 16. Lauren COLTHORPE, 18. Courtney BEUTEL (10. Lana HARCH 71-)

Unused Subs 20. Kate STEWART (gk).

Yellow Cards COLTHORPE 63- Red Cards None Goals McDONNELL 81-

Referee Pru DONOHUE