After spoiling Wellington Phoenix’s homecoming party on the weekend, the Mariners will look to all but extinguish the finals challenge of their closest neighbours this weekend at McDonald Jones Stadium.
After a 5-0 victory over the Wellington Phoenix two weeks prior at home, the Mariners travelled across the Tasman to face the Phoenix and put them to the sword coming out 4-0 winners away from home.
In what was supposed to be the perfect homecoming party for the Phoenix after being away from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Béni Nkololo, Jason Cummings, Morceshe and Matt Hatch spoiled the party at Sky Stadium in an emphatic victory not seen away from home since 2011.
Ahead of the F3 Derby that Nick Montgomery knows so much about from his playing days, he spoke to the media about the contest.
“Passion, a fantastic occasion for the supporters, a big game in the calendar,” were the words he thought of when asked about his opinion on the derby.
“I’m super proud of them every day. We’ve got the youngest squad in the league and for some the trip over to New Zealand was their first overseas football trip.
“We’ve got four games left and we go out there to win every game and that’s the way I want us to play.”
Defender Storm Roux came in for the suspended Lewis Miller at right back and he performed superbly in Wellington and was buoyant of the Mariners continuing their form into this clash.
“It’s always a great game in the derby but it will make it extra special if we can get the three points knocking them out of contention and letting us jump into that top six.
“We’ve had the consistency over the last eight games so we just need to keep that going into the last four games and hopefully into the finals.”
This weekend could see the Mariners shoot into the top six if they score a victory over the Jets, so who should Yellow and Navy fans keep an eye on in Newcastle?
Moresche, (Central Coast Mariners)
The 23-year-old netted his second A-League Men goal for the Yellow and Navy in New Zealand following an impressive outing out in Wellington.
Making the move from Singapore, where he scored 11 goals in 21 games for Geylang International FC, the Brazilian has been a key part of Nick Montgomery’s attack this season.
So far this season, Moresche has grabbed one assist while also creating one big chance for a fellow Central Coast Mariners teammate while netting two goals in 17 games.
Averaging 21.1 touches of the ball per game it should come to no surprise that the 23-year-old also possess some brilliant passing ability with over 80% of his passes being accurate each match the Brazilian features in.
Daniel Penha (Newcastle Jets)
Just like his Brazilian compatriot, Moresche, Penha came into the A-League Men competition after moving from Atletico Club on loan in the off-season.
Currently the league leader in assists with 11 in 20 games and also netting four goals for the Jets, the Mariners defence will be on watch to nullify the attacking threat that Penha brings to the table.
Despite Penha’s brilliance so far this season, the 23-year-old has missed three big chances for the Jets this season and only has a shots-to-goals ratio of 5% and has been red-carded on one occasion so far this campaign.
Wherever the F3 Derby is played, the occasion is primed to bring entertainment. This Saturday’s clash should be no different as both teams enter having won, lost and drawn the exact same amount of matches, while scoring and conceding the same.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners is set to kick off at 7:45pm AEST at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.
Newcastle Jets v Central Coast Mariners
Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s MW25
Saturday 23rd April 2022
7:45pm AEST Kick Off
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, NSW
Broadcast Live on Network Ten & Paramount +