Yellow & Navy give Sydney the Blues

GOALS to Patrick Zwaanswijk, Michael McGlinchey and substitute Troy Hearfield earned Central Coast Mariners all three points over NSW rival Sydney FC in round 7 of the Hyundai A-League played at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.

GOALS to Patrick Zwaanswijk, Michael McGlinchey and substitute Troy Hearfield earned Central Coast Mariners all three points over NSW rival Sydney FC in round 7 of the Hyundai A-League played at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday.

The 3-2 triumph lifts the Mariners - albeit potentially temporarily - to second place on the Hyundai A-League ladder - the teams- highest position so far this campaign.

Sydney twice came within a goal of the yellow and navy with Nick Carle and Brett Emerton hitting the back of the net for the hosts, however Central Coast complemented their polished display with some dogged late defending to deny the Sky Blues in front of 13,947 fans.

The Mariners took the lead in the 41st minute when towering Dutch defender Patrick Zwaanswijk struck a thunderbolt of a free kick past a hapless Liam Reddy in the Sydney goal. Daniel McBreen won the set piece having been dragged down 20 metres from goal, before Zwaanswijk unleashed an unstoppable drive at ‘The Cove- end.

Zwaanswijk-s goal was just reward for a first half of good enterprise and possession play by the Mariners. Indeed, the former Utrecht favourite headed over the woodwork in the 6th minute, while young attacker Bernie Ibini forced Reddy into a smart reaction save in the 35th minute.

Former Newcastle Jets marksman Mark Bridge had the best opportunity of the first half for Sydney in the 8th minute, however he scooped his shot from close range well over Justin Pasfield-s goal.

The Mariners took off where they left off after the interval, dictating play and making Viteslav Lavicka-s men do the majority of the running.

And, with youngster Mustafa Amini having entered the fray, the yellow and navy added to their slender advantage in the 66th minute. Good work through midfield saw Amini link with Pedj Bojic wide on the right, with Bojic firing an inch-perfect pass towards the penalty spot. An onrushing McGlinchey connected first time with Bojic-s ball, bulging the back of the net to send the travelling support into raptures.

Intent on clawing their way back into the match and knowing they had the ability to do so, Sydney FC poured forward and got themselves back in the game on 77 minutes. Hirofumi Moriyasu fed Bridge whose shot was well saved by Pasfield, however the rebound fell kindly to Carle who headed into an unguarded net from the edge of the area.

Arnold introduced impressive attacker Troy Hearfield into the match in the 79th minute and the utility instantly rewarded his coach-s faith with a goal with one of his first touches. Matt Simon did well to make his way to the bi-line before cutting back for Hearfield who slotted calmly past Reddy to restore the Mariners two-goal lead.

Despite the yellow and navy being in a dominant position, Sydney FC showed they will be a team every Hyundai A-League side has to watch until the final second of the match this season. Indeed, Qantas Socceroo Emerton lashed an impressive free kick home to make the score 3-2 in the 88th minute and set up some frantic moments before full-time.

Nevertheless, Central Coast held firm in the dying moments of what was an entertaining match. With Sydney sending almost everyone forward, Pasfield showed all his courage in launching his body through a crowd of players to send the ball away for a corner.

It would prove to be one of the final actions of an enthralling Hyundai A-League round 7 encounter, and define the grit and determination on display from Graham Arnold-s men.

Post match, Mariners goalscorer Zwaanswijk said the camaraderie between the Central Coast players is what is helping drive the team-s good run of form.

“We-re a good bunch of players, but more than that we-re a good bunch of friends,” Zwaanswijk said.

“When one player makes a mistake everyone is working hard to help him out and fix it. I think that-s what helped us tonight. Because we are so close we are willing to fight for one another.”

Arnold said his team deserved the win.

“I think the scoreline flattered Sydney to be honest,” Arnold said. “Again, it was a great team performance and highlights both the depth we have in our squad and the work ethic among this group of players.”

Match Details Sydney FC 2 (Carle 77-, Emerton 88-) Central Coast Mariners 3 (Zwaanswijk 41-, McGlinchey 66-, Hearfield 82-)

Sydney FC: 1. Liam REDDY (Gk), 3. Jamie COYNE (12. Shannon COLE 61-), 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 5. Michael BEAUCHAMP, 7. Brett EMERTON, 8. Karol KISEL, 10. Nick CARLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c) (9. Bruno CAZARINE 46-), 17. Terry ANTONIS (6. Hirofumi MORIYASU 73-)), 19. Mark BRIDGE, 21. Scott JAMIESON Subs not Used: 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (Gk) Yellow Cards: McFlynn 22-, Jamieson 72-, Kisel 90+3- Red Cards: None

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN (62- 22. Mustafa AMINI), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON (10. Adriano PELLEGRINO 86-), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Bernie IBINI (12. Troy HEARFIELD 79-), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matthew SIMON, Subs not Used: 30. Nathan DENHAM (Gk) Yellow Cards: Hutchinson 22-, Griffiths 84- Red Cards: None

Referee: Strebre Delovski Crowd: 13, 947