Mariners continue to keep it clean

The Central Coast Mariners have now gone 313 minutes without conceding a goal in season six of the Hyundai A-League, after holding Gold Coast United to a scoreless draw at Skilled Park tonight.

The Central Coast Mariners have now gone 313 minutes without conceding a goal in season six of the Hyundai A-League, after holding Gold Coast United to a scoreless draw at Skilled Park tonight.

Not since the 47th minute of the side-s clash against Sydney FC almost a month ago have the Yellow and Navy-s defences been breached, and that impressive stat will continue well into October, with Gold Coast-s Qantas Socceroos attacking duo of Jason Culina and Bruce Djite the latest to come away from a meeting with Graham Arnold-s side empty handed.

“We defended very well, but it wasn-t the intention to come here and defend,” said Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold.

“If we don-t have the defensive structure and the discipline that we showed we would have copped three (goals) tonight. I-m happy with a point, the discipline, and mental attitude of the players, but not happy with the display.”

Heading into the match on the back of two straight wins in front of home fans, the Mariners started brightly enough, as Matt Simon brought a cross down from Pedj Bojic with his chest to lay off for Daniel McBreen, his low shot well held by Gold Coast custodian Glen Moss.

Adama Traore was playing in an unfamiliar role alongside Bruce Djite in attack but he provided the Mariners defence with its first scare of the night, Josh Rose showing plenty of composure to chest a cross down for Mathew Ryan to smother.

Good link up play from Pedj Bojic and Patricio Perez down the right saw the Argentine whip a ball in to the back post on 11 minutes, however Matt Simon was unable to chase down the delivery.

Traore fired two long range efforts over the bar as the home side looked to take the game to the visitors, while a dangerous ball in from Steve Pantelidis down the right forced a fantastic save out of teenage ‘keeper Ryan.

The action was end to end as Perez went on a mazy run on 25 minutes but couldn-t get a shot away, while Anderson had arguably the best shot of the opening half, when he fired a dangerous effort marginally wide of the far post, after Bojic mistimed a defensive header.

Alex Wilkinson had the final chance of the first 45 minutes for the Yellow and Navy when the skipper headed a Perez corner goalbound, only to see Anderson clear off the line, and ensure scores would remain even at the break.

The Mariners started the second stanza on the front foot, but it nearly backfired, Culina spotting Mathew Ryan off his line as he launched a sole counter attack, and launching a speculator from inside his own half which the young shot stopper was able to retreat and cover.

The hosts saw a great chance come and go just shy of the hour mark, as Culina sent a ball across the face from the left channel, which Djite scuffed under pressure from Ryan and Rose.

At the other end, Moss had to be on his toes after Thwaite only half cleared into open space around the penalty spot, the Kiwi ‘keeper diving on the loose ball at the feet of Simon.

Simon was in the action again soon after as he went on a run down the right and fired a delivery into the area, but Thwaite showed composure in chesting the ball behind for a corner.

Ryan was determined to keep his third consecutive clean sheet and kept out long-range efforts by Anderson, Caravella and Pantelidis in the process.

At the other end, the Mariners went searching for a late winner, but good lead ups from Michael McGlinchey and Josh Rose ultimately came to nothing, while a free kick in dangerous proximity to late substitute Nik Mrdja ended wide of the target.

“We came here to win, to get three points. Gold Coast are a good side, they have good players, they-ve got a marquee player worth a million dollars plus, Jason (Culina), he-s a hell of a good player and they-re a hard side to play against because they-re unpredictable, but we didn-t come here to park the bus.

“At home we-re playing with confidence at Bluetongue, playing good football, so now mentally we need to fix up away from home. We-ve had a win, two draws and a loss so it-s not bad away form, but we-ve just got to be more confident away from home,” said Arnold.

The Mariners now have a weekend off before returning to Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday, 2 October where they will take on North Queensland Fury.

“We-ll probably play Paintball on Friday, have a Barbecue with our families on Saturday and I-ll watch my beloved Collingwood in the (AFL) Grand Final,” laughed Mariners vice-captain John Hutchinson.

“On a serious note I think the boys need a rest, we-ve been going hard for five months and some of us have never trained the way we-ve trained this year under Arnie which is good.

“We-ve worked hard on our defensive shape which has shown in the last three or four games and I think we need a week off away from football. A couple of days off then we-ll be back in and we look to go home and get the three points in front of a big home crowd.”

The Mariners are next in action when they take on North Queensland Fury on Saturday, 2 October at Bluetongue Stadium. Kick-off is at 5:15pm and tickets are available online at or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season are still available online at or by phoning 1300 767 442.

Match Details

Gold Coast United 0
Central Coast Mariners 0

Gold Coast United: 1. Glen MOSS (gk), 2. Steve PANTELIDIS, 3. Michael THWAITE, 5. ROBSON (24. John CURTIS 84-), 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. ANDERSON, 10. Jason CULINA (c), 11. Bruce DJITE (21. Golgol MEBRAHTU 68-), 16. Kristian REES, 22. Adama TRAORE (19. Andrew BARISIC 68-).

Subs not Used: 20. Scott HIGGINS (gk).

Yellow Cards: Caravella 36-, Djubilic 90+1-
Red Cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners: 20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN (5. Brad PORTER 87-), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON (9. Nik MRDJA 90+1-), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 10. Patricio PEREZ (23. Adam KWASNIK 80-), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON.

Subs not used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (gk).

Yellow Cards: Griffiths 21-, Perez 76-, Zwaanswijk 85-
Red Cards: Nil

Referee: Jarred GILLETT