Central Coast Mariners secured their fourth draw from five games away from home on Saturday, earning a point against an in-form Wellington Phoenix outfit at Auckland’s Eden Park in Hyundai League 2014/15 round 10.
Matt Simon’s 40th minute strike following Glen Moss’s error in the Phoenix goal put the Mariners ahead, and it took until the 76th minute of the game for the hosts, playing away from their normal home base of Westpac Stadium, to equalise.
But equalise they did as Fijian flyer Roy Krishna latched on to a skilful Michael McGlinchey pass to score for the fourth consecutive game for the ‘Nix, and ensure that that the clash ended 1-1.
Central Coast were made to absorb substantial periods of pressure throughout the game as they bid to contain the attacking triumvirate of Krishna, McGlinchey, and Nathan Burns.
Indeed, Mariners custodian Liam Reddy was made to produce some fine work throughout the first 45, while some desperate defending was also required to ensure that the game remained goalless until Simon’s strike.
15 minutes after Central Coast substitute Glen Trifiro – who had entered the match in the 20th minute for the injured Nick Montgomery – hit the woodwork direct from a free kick, Simon gave Central Coast the lead.
Doing as every good striker should, Simon followed in an effort from his teammate in the hope a chance might fall his way. It did, as Nick Fitzgerald’s effort at goal was spilled by Moss allowing the former Chunnam Dragons man the opportunity to slide the ball into the back of the net.
Goalscorers Krishna and Simon were central to the encounter, and the former pushed an effort over the bar as Phoenix sought to restore parity to the contest early in the second stanza.
Simon struck an effort on goal on the angle in the 58th minute, though this time Moss was equal to his attempt.
Phoenix tied up the match with just under a quarter of an hour to play when McGlinchey’s cute pass was chested down by Krishna, then fired beyond Reddy by the 27-year-old Labasa-born attacker.
1-1 was the way the contest concluded as both sides struggled to create a clear cut chance late on to claim all three Hyundai A-League points.
Central Coast Mariners remain in eighth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder, and will travel west next weekend to take on ladder-leaders Perth Glory. That game is on Saturday 20 December with kick-off at 6:30pm local time (9:30pm AEDT).
Wellington Phoenix 1 (Krishna 76’)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Simon 40’)
Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: Allan Milliner
Central Coast Mariners: 3. Josh ROSE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5. Zac ANDERSON (15. Matt SIM 46’), 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (18. Glen TRIFIRO 20’), 10. Anthony CACERES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 17. Richard VERNES (28. Josh BINGHAM 82’), 19. Matt SIMON, 21. Michael NEILL
Substitutes not used: 1. Matt NASH (Gk), 26. KIM Seung-yong
Yellow cards: Anderson, Simon, Vernes, Hutchinson
Red cards: Nil
Wellington Phoenix: 1. Glen MOSS (Gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 4. Roly BONEVACIA, 8. Alex GORRIN, 9. Nathan BURNS (11. Jeremy BROCKIE 81’), 10. Michael MCGLINCHEY (14. Alex RUFER 89’), 13. Albert RIERA (7. Kenny CUNNINGHAM 87’), 16. Louis FENTON, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 21. Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (C)
Substitutes not used: 5. Michael BOXALL, 20. Lewis ITALIANO (Gk)
Yellow cards: Nil
Red cards: Nil