Super-sub Reec rescues point for Mariners

A depleted Central Coast Mariners side snatched a point late on against league leaders Melbourne Victory on Saturday evening.

The boys trailed for almost an hour after Daniel Arzani’s penalty, but Jing Reec came off the bench to equalise a minute from time to extend our unbeaten streak into double figures.

The Mariners are now ten unbeaten in all competitions, whilst Melbourne Victory are still yet to lose in the 2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League.

Mark Jackson was dealt blows in the build up to the game as Brad Tapp, Miguel Di Pizio and Mikael Doka were ruled out, joining Harry Steele on the absentee list.

In came Christian Theoharous for his first A-League start of the season, alongside Will Wilson.

Wholesale changes on the bench came as a result of that, as Noah Smith, Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Bailey Brandtman were all included, alongside Matej Busek who made the first team squad for the first team after impressing in the U23s.

A cagey opening saw both sides fashion only half chances, Alou Kuol and Will Wilson both had efforts for the Mariners and at the other end, Danny Vukovic kept out efforts from Daniel Arzani and Ben Folami.

The deadlock was broken on 33 minutes by Arzani though, he struck low and hard from the penalty spot, Vukovic guessed the right way but there was nothing he could do.

Jackson made his first change of the day on the hour mark as Wenzel-Halls entered for Wilson and he looked lively in his first appearance in over two months, twice seeing efforts from inside the box blocked.

It would be fellow substitute Reec who stole the headlines though, he had only been on the pitch seven minutes when he collected Max Balard’s inch perfect through ball, rounded Paul Izzo and slotted home the Mariners’ equaliser.