Central Coast Mariners 1 (Austin 86’) Melbourne City FC 5 (Novillo 26’ & 57’, Fornaroli 45’, Mauk 75’ & Mooy 94’)
The Run Down
Despite a cracking spot kick to Mitch Austin for his first goal in the Hyundai A-League, the Central Coast Mariners have suffered a tough loss to Melbourne City FC courtesy of a Harry Novillo brace plus goals to Bruno Fornaroli, Stefan Mauk and Aaron Mooy.
The Yellow & Navy got off to a cracking start and looked dangerous down the flanks through Mitch Austin & Nick Fitzgerald.
Unfortunately for the home side, the end product lacked with several precision crosses just falling out of reach in City’s box.
Special mention goes to 20-year-old Ascroft who was tasked with one of the hardest gigs in the Hyundai A-League, man-marking Mooy. Ascroft nullified Mooy’s effectiveness in the middle of the park for substantial periods of play before he pounced with almost the final kick from a tough angle.
The Central Coast Mariners will relish a 10-day-break until their next Hyundai A-League fixture where they will travel to Western Australia to face Perth Glory.
26’ NOVILLO GOAL: Fornaroli picked up possession on the half way line and was able to hit the Yellow & Navy on the counter; his through ball hit the feet of Novillo who made no mistake with a tidy finish.
45’ FORNAROLI GOAL: This time Novillo played creator, he linked up well with Erik Paartalu who flicked to Fornaroli, the Uruguayan finished from close range.
57’ NOVILLO GOAL (2): Novillo was given an inch of space; the Frenchman took his chance from just outside the box and put it in the bottom corner, no chance for Paul Izzo.
75’ MAUK GOAL: Mooy broke in from the right, after settling himself the cross found the feet of Mauk who hit the back of the net from inside the box.
86’ AUSTIN GOAL: Mitch Austin bagged the first Hyundai goal of his career from the spot and made sure of it by blasting his effort into Sorensen’s top corner.
94’ MOOY GOAL: Who else but Mooy, the in form attacker popped up in the final moment of play and drilled home from a tough angle.
12’ SORENSEN SLIPS: The Central Coast Mariners almost had the opener gifted to them thanks to a goalkeeping slip up from Thomas Sorensen. The former Aston Villa shot stopper played straight to the feet of the O’Donovan who was caught by surprise, his shot was blocked.
17’ FITZGERALD CROSS: Fitzgerald flew around Clisby on the right wing, before delivering a pinpoint cross but Austin and O’Donovan were both just out of reach.
24’ AUSTIN POWERS: Mitch Austin took off like lightening from almost left back, all of a sudden he found himself in the front third taking a shot, unfortunately the end product wasn’t there.
25’ AUSTIN CROSS: It was Austin again who played creator for the Central Coast Mariners, this time he broke up the middle and played to O’Donovan who was shut down before firing a shot.
48’ FITZGERALD FIRES: ‘Fitzy’ looked to take the game into his own hands after breaking into space just outside the box, he pulled the trigger from 30 yards out but his shot was just over the crossbar.
70’ AUSTIN SHOT: Thanks to some tidy play down the wing from O’Donovan, the Irishman whipped the ball in from the right, his cross flashed across the face of goal which Austin saw late and just missed the chance to poke home.
“Look at the end of the day, I can’t sit here and defend a 5-1 defeat at home, firstly let me say that. But what I will do is say that I’m fully behind this group of players. Their intent in the first half and the way they went about it was outstanding.
“You have to execute at both ends of the park, we missed chances, we coughed the ball up at the other end and you’re 2-0 down and asking how did that actually happen so had we got the first goal in the second half, we’d have been in it, but we didn’t, we conceded the third, we didn’t start the half particularly well and from there on in, you’re up against it, heads are down, confidence is a strange thing isn’t it, you’re three down at home, you’re wondering what’s happened, where does that spark come from.
“We go down to 10 men, score a goal with 10 men as per usual, that’s the way we do things. I’m looking long term here, we’ve said from day one we’re going to have a real crack, expose some young players to some really high demands and they’ve got too cop that on the chin so do I.
“They’ll be shattered now. There’s no point beating them up about it, we put some demands on them before the game and we raised the bar today compared to last week and put in a great first half performance, but came in 2-0 down, credit to them, they have got players that when given opportunities can hurt you and they did that.
“If I look for positives if you can look for positives in a game like that, we said to Harry Ascroft today that Aaron Mooy’s the best player in the league at the moment statistically and everybody says anecdotally he’s the best player in the league. His task was to make his life difficult today and before he fatigued he was doing an absolutely outstanding job.
“Fitzgerald was lively all game and was close to his best. Mitch Austin had some impact at times where it just takes your breath away where he goes at players. Great for him to get the penalty late on and score it, cause it’s probably reward for the efforts that he put in for the early part of the season as well.
“We’ve got a long turnaround, we come in off of a very short turnaround, we played four days ago here against the Wanderers so I’m not making excuses here, we weren’t good enough today. 10 days, we go to Perth and see how we stack up.
“With a 10 day lead in, the risk is to overload players, put too much training into them so they’re not fresh enough after a trip to Perth, so we’ve got that well managed. We’ve got Monty back, I think Ferreira might be another week away beyond that and obviously we miss him, it reduces the flexibility that we’ve got.
“Liam Rose played his first full 90 minutes for the club and did a great job for an 18-year-old against that midfield he was fantastic tonight, another positive I guess. And that gives Caceres a chance to play further up the pitch and you can see late on in the game when he started to go past people just what his capability is.
“We’ve been smashed 5-1 at home, I’m devastated, the players are going to be devastated.
“But roll us forward to this time next year with the experience that these guys are picking up and you’re talking about some seriously good young players here.
“The way we train and the way players move the ball in tight areas is fantastic and we want to take that transfer into match-day but of course the pressure’s different so we really need to continue to work until the penny drops so you can’t wait until your goals down to suddenly start to move the ball around, so there’s a constant train of practice that we’re going through towards getting it right and clearly today, we ‘re still some way from that.”
Central Coast Mariners: 1.Paul IZZO (GK), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE(21.Michael NEILL 65’), 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT (23.Tomislav USKOK 67’), 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN (19.Josh BINGHAM 73’), 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 22.Jake McGING
Unused substitutions: 40.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (GK), 15.Matthew SIM
Yellow cards: Poscoliero 34’
Melbourne City FC: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO (30.Hernan ESPINDOLA 82’), 21.Stefan MAUK (15.David WILLIAMS 77’), 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 25.Jacob MELLING (18.Paulo RETRE 74’)
Unused substitutions: 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 19.Ben GARUCCIO
Yellow cards: CLISBY 20’
Thursday 3 December 2015
Central Coast Mariners 1
Melbourne City 5
Venue: Central Coast Stadium
Referee: Stebre Delovski