Mariners continue unbeaten run with dominant win over Western

The Central Coast Mariners have extended their unbeaten A-League run to three, four in all competitions, with a resounding 4-0 win over Western United at Industree Group Stadium on Friday night.

Mark Jackson made two changes to his team that drew with the undefeated Melbourne Victory, with Miguel Di Pizio and Jing Reec making their starting debuts in place of Alou Kuol and Will Wilson.

Despite starting on the bench, Kuol would enter the game to score our fourth, after Dan Hall, Brian Kaltak and Marco Tulio gave us a deserved 3-0 lead at the break.

Central Coast came out strongly and opened the scoring in the 11th minute, as Tulio’s corner was nodded home by Hall – his first goal of the season.

The Mariners continued to push and were unlucky not to go ahead by two minutes later.

Josh Nisbet kickstarted the attack, weaving his way through a host of Western players, before playing it to Torres who feed Miguel Di Pizio – but the youngster was unable to fire home a first A-Leagues goal in his maiden league start – forcing a smart stop from Thomas Heward-Belle.

Western sprung on the counter, with the ball finding its way through to Noah Botic who was denied by Danny Vukovic, before putting his second effort over the bar.

The Mariners continued to pose a threat every time we broke forward and Torres almost had his second goal in two games but flashed his shot just wide of the mark after some lovely work from Tulio.

But we would eventually get our second. Torres’ corner was whipped into the back post and looped into the back of the net by Kaltak, with the ball incredibly looking to have come off the back of the Vanuatu international’s head.

The Mariners weren’t done inflicting the pain and they were soon three ahead. Jing Reec did well to nod the ball down to an on-rushing Torres, feeding an unmarked Tulio, who steadied himself and curled the ball expertly past Heward-Belle.

It was the Brazilian forward’s first goal of the Isuzu UTE A-League season, but his eighth in all competitions, including six in the AFC Cup.

Aloisi made three changes at half-time to try and spark an unlikely second half fightback, including bringing on Nikita Rukavytysa, but the Mariners just kept on coming.

Di Pizio’s eye-catching debut continued, and the teenager forced two more good saves from Heward-Belle, including an effort which ricocheted off the crossbar, moments before he was subbed off.

Central Coast were relatively untested for much of the second-half, bar a long-range strike from Angus Thurgate, who just put his effort wide of the post, before adding a fourth in the final ten minutes.

Western failed to clear a Mariners corner late in the half, as Heward-Belle’s initial save fell in the path of Jacob Farrell, whose shot slammed off the crossbar, ricocheted off Kaltak to Kuol who tapped home his third goal of the league season.

The Mariners wanted more and chased a fifth in second-half stoppage time, but both Tulio and Kuol were denied by the woodwork.

The 4-0 win moves us up to 9th in the league, leapfrogging both Sydney FC and Perth Glory.

We next turn our attention to securing safe passage into the knockout stages of the AFC Cup with a Wednesday trip to face Stallion Laguna in The Philippines, before we travel to take on Melbourne City at 5pm next Sunday.