Mariners concede last minute equaliser in tough night at Gosford

The Central Coast Mariners have conceded a devastating last-minute goal against Wellington Phoenix on Friday night, seeing the match end 1-all at Industree Group Stadium. 

Controversial red cards to Brian Kaltak, Moresche and Nick Montgomery overshadowed an otherwise pleasing performance from the Mariners, who dominated for the majority of the match. 

Despite playing the final 30 minutes with only 10 men the Mariners still had the better of the final chances, almost doubling our advantage on numerous occasions. Just the hand of Oli Sail kept the Phoenix in it, with a late equaliser seeing the points shared.  

After an even 10 minutes the Mariners got on the board early, after some beautiful team play ended in an even better finish. The ball starting with Sammy Silvera who played a sweeping pass to the right, finding Storm Roux. 

The right back taking a touch on the inside before crossing the ball perfectly into the six-yard box, picking out James McGarry. The former Phoenix player volleying the shot first time, directing it into the net. The goal handing the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute. 

The Mariners continued to have the better of the chances over the following 20 minutes, with Silvera testing Sail on numerous occasions. The Phoenix had their first meaningful chance in the 39th minute, with Oskar Zawada having a clear sight of goal. 

The Polish striker passing back to Yan Sasse who directed a shot goalward, with only a spectacular diving effort from Storm Roux clearing the ball off the line in the 39th minute. 

The Mariners were controversially denied a penalty under a minute later, with Silvera taken down inside the box after beating his defender.

The referee deeming the contract not sufficient enough for a penalty, despite it being enough to put Silvera to the ground while running goalward. 

Tulio had the Mariners final chance of the half after Beni Nkololo headed on a ball from Danny Vukovic. The Frenchman getting the ball to Marco Tulio who sprinted free, with only the head of Sail blocking the goalward shot. 

The Mariners unable to double our advantage before the referee called for half time, taking a one goal lead into the break after a dominant first half. 

The Mariners found themselves down to 10 men in the 57th minute after Brian Kaltak was controversially awarded a red card, despite seemingly making contact with the ball first. 

The defender collecting David Ball’s leg after bouncing off the ball, with the referee deeming it to be dangerous contact.

Despite being looked at VAR opted not to overturn the red card, with head coach Nick Montgomery shown a yellow card. 

The Mariners continued to still have chances despite being down a man, with Montgomery bringing on fresh legs in the form of Moresche, Harry Steele, Dan Hall, Cameron Windust and Christian Theoharous. 

Moresche looking dangerous from the get-go, being a constant threat to Wellington’s defensive line. The striker standing up Scott Wootton, pushing through for a one on one with Sail. 

The Brazilian opening up to try and find the right-hand corner, with Sail palming it just wide as the ball rolled outside the upright. 

The Wellington shot stopper denied the Mariners yet again one minutes later, with McGarry having a brilliant shot after receiving a cutback. His effort deflecting over after a strong right hand from Sail, with the Mariners constantly knocking on the door of a game sealer. 

With seven minutes of stoppage time called, Wellington soon scored their equaliser, coming off a corner. The ball dropping to Zawada who hit it goal ward with an acrobatic backwards kick, dribbling into the net in the 94th minute to level the scores at 1-all. 

With the Mariners looking to score a late winner Wellington continued to foul the Mariners, regularly bringing our players down to stop momentum. 

Moresche the victim of two yellow card worthy fouls, with Wootton the second culprit. The Brazilian reacting to the foul by touching the defenders face, with the referee sending him off in the 97th minute.

He soon went over to Montgomery and gave him a second yellow card, before sending him off. Our coach dismissed despite seemingly not doing anything to cause the second yellow card, with the Mariners ending the match with three people dismissed and the score at 1-all. 

The Central Coast will next head to Western Sydney for what promises to be a mouth watering clash away from home, before travelling to Mudgee to take on Macarthur FC.