After a tough 2-all draw away to Perth Glory last weekend, the Mariners finally return home to take on Wellington Phoenix tonight at Industree Group Stadium.
Currently in second place with numerous teams close behind on the Isuzu UTE A-League ladder, a home win tonight will be crucial if we want to maintain our place near the top of the ladder.
Off the back of a hard-fought match against Perth, Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery was forced to make one change.
Nectarios Triantis drops out after being named in the Young Socceroos side for the U20’s Asian Cup in Uzbekistan, likely to miss numerous games due to the tournament.
Academy product Maksim Kasalovic replaces the young defender, making his first A-League men’s squad.
Wellington have named a mostly unchanged line up, with Kosta Barbarouses and Clayton Lewis unavailable due to injury.
Callan Elliot misses the match through suspension after picking up his fifth yellow card against Western United last weekend.
The Central Coast Mariners secured an important point last weekend, maintaining our place in second on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s ladder.
That 2-all draw sees our record over the last five games sit at one win, two draws and two defeats.
Those two defeats have been by only one goal, narrowly missing out on securing at least a point. The Mariners are currently on equal points with third placed Adelaide United, two points ahead of Western Sydney.
Wellington are fresh of the back for a dominant 3-0 victory over Western United, bouncing back after two consecutive defeats at the hands of Melbourne Victory and Macarthur.
Over the past five games they have won two, lost two and drawn one, with one of those games being a tight 2-1 victory over the Mariners.
The Phoenix currently sits in fifth place on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s ladder, on equal points with seventh place Newcastle Jets.
Remarkably a win for them tonight will see them equal on points with the Mariners, demonstrating the tight nature of the competition.
It is almost impossible to split the Mariners and Wellington when looking at their head-to-head record. The Central Coast have won 18 of 45 matches, while the Phoenix have secured 19 victories.
The same can be said at Industree Group Stadium, with the Mariners winning eight of 17 previous matches, while the Phoenix have come out on top seven times.
This season the Mariners have not yet secured the full three points against Wellington, going the closest when only an 88thminute own goal denied us the victory.
In our second meeting the Phoenix went into half time with a 2-0 lead, with the Mariners turning it around in the second half.
Despite dominating, a 90th Beni Nkololo goal ended up being only consolation, with Wellington holding on for a 2-1 victory.
Central Coast Mariners
3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Joshua NISBET, 5. James MCGARRY, 6. Maximilien BALARD, 7 Samuel SILVERA, 9. Jason CUMMINGS, 10. Matheus MORESCHE, 11. Beni NKOLOLO, 13. Harry STEELE, 14. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 15. Storm ROUX, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20 Danny VUKOVIC ©, 22. Cameron WINDUST, 23. Daniel HALL, 24. Yaren SOZER, 28. James BAYLISS, 31. Christian THEOHAROUS, 36. Maksim KASALOVIC, 98. Marco TULIO
Ins: 36. Maksim Kasalovic
Outs: 25. Nectarios Triantis (international duty)
Unavailable: 26. Bradley TAPP (injured)
3. Finn SURMAN, 4. Scott WOOTTON, 5. Steven UGARKOVIC, 6. Tim PAYNE, 7 Ben OLD, 9. Oskar ZAWADA, 10. David BALL, 11. Bozhidar KRAEV, 12. Lucas MAURAGIS, 13. Nicholas PENNINGTON, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Nikko BOXALL, 19. Sam SUTTON, 20. Oli SAIL (gk), 21. Joshua LAWS, 24. Oskar VAN HATTUM, 31. Yan SASSE, 35. Noah KARUNARATNE, 40. Alex PAULSEN (gk)
Unavailable: 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured), 17. Callan ELLIOT (suspended), 23. Clayton LEWIS (injured).
Central Coast Mariners vs Wellington Phoenix
Friday, February 24th
Kick-off: 7:45pm AEDT
Industree Group Stadium, Gosford
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
Tickets available HERE!