Three goals secure three points for Mariners against Western

The Central Coast Mariners have secured a brilliant 3-0 victory on Friday afternoon, defeating Western United at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. 

Two deserved goals before the half time break left the Mariners in a comfortable position, scoring an extra in the dying minutes to ensure the result. That goal coming from former Western United player Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who got his first in Mariners colours. 

The result a significant one for the club, the first A-League win in the state of Victoria since 2014. The clean sheet and three points keeping the Mariners in third on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s ladder with three matches of the regular season remaining. 

The match got off to a lively start, with both sides trying to find their footing in extremely wet and slippery conditions. Marco Tulio having the first shot of the game, with his deflected effort falling safely into the hands of Jamie Young. 

Chances continued to fall for the Central Coast, with the first goal eventually coming after some spectacular work from Tulio.

The Brazilian collecting the ball 20 yards from our own penalty box, before playing a stunning sweeping pass over the halfway line to leave the Mariners with a two on one.

Sammy Silvera dribbling into the box, before finding Jason Cummings with a perfectly played pass. The Socceroo slotting it home to hand the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute. 

Seven minutes later Western had a chance to equalise, with Connor Pain getting on the end of some sloppy play off a corner. Captain Danny Vukovic pulling off two strong saves on consecutive plays, keeping the Mariners lead intact. 

The two sides traded shots over the next five minutes, with both teams going close without finding the back of the net. The Mariners ultimately found their second of the match, with some brilliant defensive work from Silvera creating the opportunity. 

His tackle on Josh Risdon seeing the ball drop to Tulio, who passed it off to Beni Nkololo running towards the penalty area. The Frenchman finding the bottom left corner from 20 yards out with a nice strike. 

Despite being looked at by VAR no infringement was deemed to have taken place, with the goal handing the Mariners a 2-0 lead in the 35th minute. 

James McGarry had the final chance of the half, with the left back finding himself free just six yards out from goal. Silvera dinking a beautiful cross over to the New Zealand international, who opted to hit the volley first time.

His strike crashing just wide into the side netting, with the scores remaining the same in the 41st minute. 

The Mariners going into the half time break with a deserved 2-0 lead, looking to go on with the performance in the second 45 minutes. 

Coming out of the sheds, the Central Coast were clearly on the hunt for a third. In the 48th minute Nkololo hit his chance for a double over from 10 yards out, missing the top corner.

Silvera almost grabbing one of his own a few minutes later, with his backheel strike finding its way into the net. An offside call stood in his way, with the goal ruled out. 

Tulio’s strike in the 52nd minute from the penalty spot was palmed to the right by Young, with the Western goalkeeper keeping his side in the match. That effort was again ruled to have come from an offside play, with the Mariners aiming for a game sealing goal. 

Christian Theoharous was the first substitute of the match for the Mariners, with the former Western United player causing havoc on the right from his very first run. 

Cummings did find the net for what would have been his second of the game in the 67th minute, only to be ruled out for offside. Replays showed that McGarry had crept into an offside position before cutting the ball back to the striker, with the decision standing. 

Over the next ten minutes the Mariners used all of their substitutes, with Moresche, Dylan Wenzel-Halls, Harry Steele and Jacob Farrell all brought into the match. 

Strong defence continued to keep Western United out, as the Mariners three of Vukovic, Brian Kaltak and Nectar Triantis held firm. The home side limited to just three shots on target all game, demonstrating the trio’s performance. 

Nkololo again almost had his double after Max Balard played him into space in the box, with the winger smacking the ball over the crossbar.

With the game entering stoppage time the Mariners were able to grab a well-deserved third goal through former Western man Wenzel-Halls. 

The play starting with a spectacular ball from Kaltak on the halfway line, finding Moresche on the edge of the penalty area. The Brazilian chesting the ball down to the oncoming Wenzel-Halls, who calmly slotted it past Young for his first with the Central Coast. 

That goal sealing the 3-0 victory, maintaining the Mariners position in third place on the A-League ladder. 

The Central Coast back at home next Saturday evening against league leaders Melbourne City for Pink Round, before a massive trip to Newcastle for the final F3 Derby of the season. 

Secure your tickets to the Melbourne City match HERE and bus tickets to the Newcastle game HERE!