Central Coast Mariners midfielder Pedj Bojic insists his second half winner against Queensland state league side Logan United wasn’t a one off, and is keen to repeat the effort throughout the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.
Central Coast Mariners midfielder Pedj Bojic insists his second half winner against Queensland state league side Logan United wasn-t a one off, and is keen to repeat the effort throughout the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season.
Bojic-s 64th minute free-kick rocketed into the top right hand corner and secured a 2-1 victory, kicking off the pre-season tour of Queensland in some style.
“You can-t be a one hit wonder and shank them over the bar every time, so hopefully if I get the chance I can do it again,” said Bojic following the victory.
“(It was a) little cheeky one in the top corner, so I was pretty pleased with that.”
The Mariners were tested from the start by their opposition, Ryan Stonehouse heading wide after just two minutes.
At the other end, Brad Porter and Ahmed Elrich had been causing problems down the right flank, the pair combining to deliver plenty of dangerous balls into the Logan penalty area.
But it was the locals who took the lead just after the half-hour mark, when veteran striker Cameron Hunt was brought down inside the area, allowing Papua New Guinea international Reg Divani to fire past Danny Vukovic.
“These boys want to work hard and show they can compete with A-League clubs, and in the first half they did that, but to be fair, we weren-t that good. They scored from a penalty, which came from us being too slow to mark up at a free kick, and probably a push that wasn-t needed, I thought it was going out,” said Mariners football manager Lawrie McKinna.
The Mariners strike trio of Rostyn Griffiths, Dejan Zivkovic and Nik Mrdja had been unlucky not to find the back of the net in the first half hour, but Mrdja was finally rewarded just a minute after the home side-s opener.
Ahmed Elrich floated in a free kick from the right edge, and Griffiths had the chance to draw the Mariners level, only to see his effort cannon off the crossbar, and after the ball bobbled in the area, the honour fell to the Mariners foundation player, Mrdja finishing off from six yards.
“Credit to (Nik) Mrdja, popped up and got his opportunist goal as he does, and we got back in it at 1-all. We made a few changes and in the second half we dominated it.
The Central Coast were trying hard to find a second, and Mrdja again was the man involved, his powerful free kick taking a huge deflection off Serbian triallist Dejan Zivkovic, but Welsh midfielder Matt Crowell-s shot easily cleared the bar.
McKinna rung the changes at the break, Elrich, Porter, Mrdja and Dean Heffernan all departing, allowing Pedj Bojic, Shane Huke, Adrian Caceras and triallist Vukasin Ristic into the fray.
And the Mariners seemed to find another gear against their tiring semi-professional hosts Zivkovic having two great chances to extend the lead, first putting an overhead volley over the bar, before missing a point blank header.
“There could have been a few more goals, but their ‘keeper made a few good saves and we were unlucky a few times. Good to get a win, I said before the game we-d be happy to come away with a win, and we did that, so we go to the Fury on Sunday with a wee bit of confidence.
“The triallists did well, and Pedj-s goal deserved to win any game,” McKinna said.
One of those triallists, Zivkovic, was in the thick of it again just past the hour, winning the free kick 30 yards out from goal, leading to Bojic-s spectacular set piece.
Bojic stepped up and curled a right footed free-kick past replacement ‘keeper Tye McDonald, the ball nestling in the bottom corner.
Such was the Mariners dominance in the second half, Danny Vukovic waited 26 minutes before being called upon, punching away a ball in from Ryan Stenhouse, before turning a Cameron Hunt long range effort around his right hand upright moments later.
Despite their efforts, the Mariners were unable to find a third, but could leave a Meakin Park shrouded in fog, content with a hard fought 2-1 victory.
The Mariners- pre-season tour of Queensland continues on Sunday 7 June, when they take on A-League newcomers North Queensland Fury at Jardine Park, Rockhampton. Kick off is at 5pm.
Mariners memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available for purchase online at www.ccmariners.com.au.
Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny Vukovic (gk), 2. Georgio Di Vicino, 5. Brad Porter (3. Shane Huke 45-) 7. Matt Crowell, 8 Dean Heffernan (10. Adrian Caceras 45-), 9 Nik Mrdja (11. Vukasin Ristic 45-) 16. Nigel Boogard, 18. Alex Wilkinson (c), 21. Ahmed Elrich (4. Pedj Bojic 45-), 22. Dejan Zivkovic, 26. Rostyn Griffiths (27. Jamie Smith 53-).
Yellow Cards None
Red Cards None
Unused Subs None.
Goals Mrdja 34-, Bojic 64-
Logan United 1. Seb Usai (gk) (20. Tye McDonald (gk) 45-) 2. Ryan Stonehouse (c) (14. Ryan Genasch 82-), 3. Mitch Nelis, 4. Remo Buess, 5. Daniel Bellingham (18. Tori Seki 67-), 7. Raj Oshen, 9. Cameron Hunt, 10. Rhys Jackson (17. Josh Filewood 45-), 15. Kon Pappas (11. Chris Ronaldson 58-), 16. Jackson Dixon-Best, 19. Reggie Divani (8. Yoshi Okada 61-).
Yellow Cards None
Red Cards None
Unused Subs 6. Michael Rooney, 12. Beau Bunstead.
Goals Divani 32- P
Referee Peter Green
Crowd Approx 500