Mariners in Melbourne: Finals Football and first trip to Tarneit

All roads lead to Melbourne this weekend for Central Coast Mariners, as both our Isuzu UTE A-League and Liberty A-League sides make the trip to Victoria.

Saturday sees Mark Jackson’s team in action as they take on Western United at the brand new Wyndham Regional Football Facility in Tarneit, 3:30pm kick off.

John Aloisi’s side got off to a dream start at their new home last weekend, coming from 2-0 down to defeat Macarthur 4-2, a win which lifted them off the bottom of the A-League ladder.

The Mariners also come into the game off the back of a huge week at home, as Jacko’s side recorded back-to-back 2-1 victories over Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix, to put themselves in pole position in the race for the Premiers Plate, with three games to play.

The reverse fixture back in early December saw Jackson’s side run riot at Our Paradise. A goal apiece for centre-back pair Dan Hall and Brian Kaltak – both from set pieces, a notable Achilles heel for Western this season – got the Mariners off to a flying start.

Marco Tulio then added a third with one of our goals of the season before half time and Alou Kuol wrapped up the scoring late on.

Our Isuzu UTE A-League fixture kicks-off a double header in Tarneit, as Western United and Newcastle Jets’ Liberty A-League Elimination Final follows at 6:30pm.

On Sunday, Emily Husband’s side begin their Finals campaign with a trip to The Home of the Matildas to take on Melbourne Victory.

Victory played their part in the most dramatic of final days of a regular season the A-Leagues have ever seen, handing out a surprise 4-0 thrashing to would-be Premiers Sydney FC, sealing a fourth placed finish for themselves and teeing up City rivals Melbourne City to snatch the plate on the final day.

Finishing 4th and 5th respectively, and having played out two closely contested clashes in the regular season, there really is little to separate Victory and the Mariners.

The first meeting between the two back in November saw Victory come out on top with a 2-1 win and the game finished in a 1-1 draw when they visited Our Paradise in February. Another tense affair is expected in Melbourne this weekend.