Mariners fall to defeat on the road in Western Sydney

The Central Coast Mariners fell to a 3-0 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers, in the Liberty Women’s A-League on Friday evening.

After an evenly matched first half, in which the Mariners edged the chances created, they were dealt a real blow in stoppage time as Sophie Harding nodded home the opener for Wanderers.

It was 2-0 to the hosts just nine minutes into the second period when a looping cross was bundled into the Mariners net and the scoring was wrapped up on 70 minutes when Harding converted for her brace.

Emily Husband made three changes from the side that fell to a narrow late defeat to Melbourne Victory two weeks ago as Annalise Rasmussen and Paige Hayward came in to start, as did Tess Quilligan who made her Mariners debut.

Wurigumula made the bench after returning from the international duty with China in the United States, Peta Trimis also dropped to the bench whilst Faye Bryson missed out with injury. Our latest signing Briana Woodall came in to the match day squad for the first time since her arrival.

Mariners could easily have found themselves ahead at half time on another day, Rola Badawiya and Wanderers’ stopper Shamiran Khamis having their own personal battle in the first half.

Unfortunately for Badawiya, on this occasion it would be Khamis who came out on top as she denied the Mariners number 10 twice in the first 45.

Paige Hayward was also bright in the first half for the Mariners, she forged a chance for Rasmussen on half hour mark but she was inches away from providing a telling touch.

At the other end, Harding was able to come up with the end product that Mariners were missing on the night as one minute into stoppage time she rose highest in the box and planted her header into the corner of the goal, giving Casey Dumont no chance.

The battle between Badawiya and Khamis continued into the second period as the Wanderers stopper again kept out the Mariners forward with a smart save down to her right on 50 minutes.

Just three minutes later, it was two to the hosts as the Mariners failed to deal with Olivia Price’s looping cross and the ball was bundled home.

Bianca Galic was the next to be foiled by Khamis as her curling free-kick was tipped past the post at full-stretch, before Harding extended Wanderers’ lead three minutes later.

The 24-year-old was played through on goal and finished past Dumont who managed to get a touch on it but agonisingly saw the ball still creep into the corner.

Mariners pressed for a route back into the game, with Wurigumala looking lively after coming off the bench, but they couldn’t find the breakthrough against a defiant Wanderers defence, backed up by their in-form stopper Khamis.

The Mariners’ attention now turns to Friday night, as they host Melbourne City at Our Paradise.