Mariners return home in style

Moresche Celebrates

A beautiful Sunday evening played host to a magnificent return to Central Coast Stadium for Nick Montgomery’s Central Coast Mariners, after 6 months away, kick-starting a jam-packed Decemberfest on The Coast with a massive clash against Steve Corica’s Sydney FC.

A rampant first half saw the bulk of the action, with two quick-fire goals from Ureña and Moresche that quickly set the tone for the match – a dominant display from The Mariners, both in attack and in a resolute, unwavering defensive performance.

The return to Central Coast Stadium saw home debuts for Jacob Farrell, Cy Goddard, Moresche and Harry Steele in what was to be a strong 2-0 win to the Central Coast Mariners.

Birighitti punches clear in the first half

The action was on right from the first whistle, as the early chances fell for Goddard down the left flank after working doggedly to win the ball back and his shot was tipped over within the opening five minutes.

In the following moments, a Lewis Miller cross was sent into a dangerous area, across a full-stretch Redmayne, and after the ball re-bounded out to Ollie Bozanic on the edge of the box, the hosts were a post away from taking the lead.

It did not take long however for that opener to come as a deft through ball from Moresche found the path of Ureña who calmly slotted the ball past the onrushing Redmayne to hand the Mariners a well-deserved lead.

Minutes later the Coast faithful were sent into raptures once more, as Moresche put the ball past the Sydney FC shot-stopper for the second time in as many minutes after a marauding run from Lewis Miller down the right flank resulted in a perfectly timed cross into the path of the Brazilian.

Sydney FC were to wait until the 25th minute for their first sight on goal as Le Fondre had a swivel-and-shot which hit the inside of Birighitti’s upright and cannoned back out of the goal mouth which left the bulk of Central Coast Stadium relieved.

A few more chances fell the way of the Mariners before half-time through the determined, defensive work of the midfield, in particular Ollie Bozanic and the industrious Joshua Nisbet who was unlucky not to find a third with a header from the six yard line.

Lewis Miller celebrates the Mariners’ second goal.

After the break, Sydney FC’s intent was clear, with Steve Corica bringing on three substitutes who made their way onto the field to try and outfox Montgomery’s men, but it wasn’t to be.

The assured pairing of Kye Rowles and Dan Hall in the heart of the Mariners defence was to remain unbroken for the remainder of the match – an exceptional defensive display across the entire pitch.

Whilst the second stanza lacked that cutting edge that we saw in the first, the Mariners put together a fantastic team play, with the entirety of the front third involved which saw Moresche blaze the chance over the bar – but again, positive football from the Yellow and Navy.

Mark Birighitti was called into action eventually at the conclusion of the contest when he had to punch clear from a dangerous free-kick and throw up a strong palm to deny Joel King from a tight angle.

As the final whistle blew, joyous celebrations erupted throughout the seats of Central Coast Stadium, as the fans who have waited over six months to see sport again, were not disappointed with the Mariners ending the match with seven Academy Graduates on the field and leaving Gosford with all three points.

Dan Hall celebrates with fans after the family photo.