The Central Coast Mariners have fallen to Western United, going down 2-1 in Melbourne on Sunday afternoon in a physical encounter.
The game again came off the back of another gruelling day of travel for the side, getting into Melbourne shortly before kick-off after leaving the Centre of Excellence this morning.
Despite leading for 76 minutes of the encounter and having a goal chalked off for offside, the Mariners were unable to hold on against last season’s premiers.
The fixture again allowed our boys to get important minutes in the legs, with Marco Tulio coming on late to almost find an equaliser.
After an evenly contested beginning to the match, the Mariners nearly opened the scoring in the 37th minute through Michael Ruhs. The new recruit went inches from giving us the lead, hitting the crossbar as the scores remained level.
Just three minutes later the Mariners did get their first, with Sam Silvera continuing his red-hot pre-season with another goal.
Some brilliant work from Harry Steele and Jacob Farrell put the forward in a perfect position, with Silvera converting from close range in the 40th minute.
An even final few moments of the half saw the Mariners head into the sheds with a 1-0 lead.
The Central Coast almost had their second in the 65th minute when Silvera again put the ball in the back of the net. This goal was instead ruled out, with the referee deeming that Western United’s goalkeeper had his vision obscured by an offside Mariner.
After both teams made multiple changes the game soon became stretched, with the two sides pushing hard to create chances.
Western United grabbed their equaliser soon after, with Jacob Tratt scoring off his head in the 76th minute. The central defender connected with a Nicolas Milanovic corner, leveling the scores.
With both sides pressing for a winner Western United grabbed their second five minutes later through former Mariner Connor Pain. The forward tapped home a Lachlan Wales cross, handing his side the 2-1 lead.
With Tulio again coming on late to ease into the squad the Brazilian almost scored his first in Mariners colours, his shot only narrowly missing the left hand upright.
The match was a good hit out for the team, with multiple players including Garang Kuol and Jason Cummings not playing as they were busy scoring and creating chances on their Socceroos debut’s.
Nectar Triantis, Brian Kaltak, Kelechi John and Storm Roux will also return to the squad ahead of our final pre-season friendly next weekend against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Mariners: Vukovic, Aquilina, Nisbet, Silvera, Nkololo, Steele, Farrell, Ruhs, Windustm Hall, Ayongo
Subs: Sozer, Balard, Kuzevski, Bayliss, Jok, Cresnar, Tulio
Western United: Young, Risdon, Lacroix, Imai, Garuccio, Lustica, Kilkenny, Pierias, Troisi, Pain, Wenzel-Halls