Silvera double sinks the Jets as Mariners secure F3 Derby trophy

The Central Coast Mariners have secured the three points after a dominant second half against the Newcastle Jets, coming away 3-1 winners at McDonald Jones Stadium. 

After conceding in the ninth minute the Mariners were able to hit back through Sammy Silvera, heading into the break with the scores level. 

A second from Silvera and third from Marco Tulio sealed the victory in front of an incredible group of traveling Central Coast supporters, as the Mariners won the F3 Derby trophy. 

The night was especially special for young Miguel Di Pizio, with the Mariners Academy member receiving his first A-League minutes after coming on as a late substitute. 

It was the home side who got off to the ideal start, with Jaushua Sotirio getting his team the first goal of the match. The winger had been denied only moments earlier after a stunning one on one save from Vukovic, with the ball going out for a corner kick. 

Reno Piscopo was able to find Beka Mikeltadze at the near post from that subsequent corner, with the centre defender nodding it on. The ball falling directly into the path of Sotirio, who headed it into the net from close range to give his side a 1-0 lead in the ninth minute.  

The ball found itself mostly in the centre third over the next 15 minutes, with both sides trying to win the battle for possession. The two teams both having half chances without any luck, before the Mariners levelled the scoring in the 27th minute. 

After some play around the defensive line Nectar Triantis begun the attacking movement, hitting a long cross field ball from halfway that found Silvera on the sideline 18 yards out. 

From there it was the magic of Sammy Silvera that drew the Central Coast level, with the winger paired up against former Mariner Thomas Aquilina down the left-hand side. 

Silvera saw himself blocked into the corner, before backing himself to dribble the ball back in-field. After skipping past the Jets defender, the winger unleashed a cannon from his right foot, lashing the ball into the bottom right corner to level the score. 

Both sides continued to push for the go-ahead goal, with neither team able to fashion anything heading into the half time break. 

Coming out of the break Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery opted to make a substitution, with Harry Steele replacing Max Balard in the centre of midfield. 

Newcastle begun the second half with a couple of chances, with Mariners captain Danny Vukovic required to make a few smart saves to keep the scores level. From there the Mariners took total control of the fixture, with Silvera again the hero. 

The winger collected the ball from James McGarry on the left, playing it over to Tulio in-field. The Brazilian flicked it up to himself before taking out both Newcastle defenders with a pinpoint accurate chipped pass back to Silvera. 

After taking a touch to give himself some room the winger skipped easily by Matt Jurman, before coolly and calmly slotting it past Michael Weier in the 58th minute to double our advantage. 

Silvera’s silky dribbling soon caused Newcastle even more headaches, with Brandon O’Neill given his marching orders. 

After receiving a yellow card in the first half for a dangerous challenge on Max Balard, the midfielder committed a professional foul on Silvera as he looked to hit on the counterattack. The referee decided that it was a yellow card worthy challenge, with the Jets down to 10 men for the remaining half-hour. 

The Mariners almost made them pay immediately afterwards, with Beni Nkololo whipping in a pinpoint cross from the right-hand side of the pitch. Tulio was able to get his head on it, firing it goalward. 

Only a very strong save from Weier was able to keep the effort out, with the Mariners well and truly knocking on the door of a third. 

They had to wait only five more minutes for that to become a reality, with the play starting from a wayward throw from Weier in goals. 

His lob only made it as far as McGarry who chose to drive to goal, standing up Aquilina before the ball hit off his leg. That pass found Tulio sniffing around the penalty area, initially looking as though he was going to attempt a strike with his left foot. 

Instead, he waited for the ball to land on his right, powering it home in the 69th minute to give the Mariners an unassailable lead. 

The Jets did look to get one back ten minutes later through Aquilina. The defender got on the end of a Beka Mikeltadze chipped pass, finding some room on the right. One-on-one with Vukovic, the youngster could only hit the side netting, with the Jets again unable to convert a chance. 

Newcastle continued to push for their second of the match, with strong defending from Brian Kaltak and Nectar Triantis, along with smart goalkeeping from Vukovic keeping the home side at bay. 

The Mariners also maintained their hunt for a fourth goal, with Jason Cummings going close on numerous occasions without quite finding a way to beat Weier in goals. 

Kaltak’s free kick in the 80th minute from the edge of the penalty area also fell just wide, as the Central Coast were unable to find an extra goal. 

The Mariners did have one final opportunity to add one to their tally, with Josh Nisbet finding Jason Cummings with a remarkable ball. The Socceroo dribbling alongside Carl Jenkinson before cutting in on the inside, beating the Englishman. 

With no defenders behind him he opted to rugby tackle the striker, not letting go as he put almost all of his weight behind keeping Cummings away from shooting. The referee deemed the tackle as denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, awarding Jenkinson a red card. 

That was the final moment of meaning for either side, with Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery recording his fifth win in six games as head coach over Arthur Papas and the Jets. 

The 3-1 victory pushes the Mariners up into second on goals scored, with the three on Saturday evening raising the Central Coast’s tally up to 51. This marks the most in a regular season for the club, coming with one more match still to play. 

The Mariners will now travel to Adelaide for their final game of the regular season, with the team’s eyes firmly set on securing a top two finish.