The Central Coast Mariners have beaten the Brisbane Roar for just the fifth time in the history of the Hyundai A-League, with their greatest ever result at Suncorp Stadium, a 3-nil win at a ground they’ve only tasted victory at on two prior occasions.
The Central Coast Mariners have beaten the Brisbane Roar for just the fifth time in the history of the Hyundai A-League, with their greatest ever result at Suncorp Stadium, a 3-nil win at a ground they-ve only tasted victory at on two prior occasions.
Goals to Nicky Travis and John Hutchinson within the first 20 minutes and a second half strike to substitute Pedj Bojic secured a vitally important three points, which, temporarily at least, moves the Mariners back into the top four, and continues a tough week for the Roar.
“All over the world, if an old manager goes and a new one comes in, usually the team wins, because there-s a rebound or something, playing for the old coach, playing for the new coach, playing for contracts,” said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.
“We knew we had to go out and be on our game, and not be a bit flat like we have been in the past couple of weeks, and the boys responded to that from the first minute.
“In the first half we played some really good football, in the second half they came at us – as they should, down 2-nil and trying to get a goal – and (Pedj) Bojic finished it off with that third goal.
“Last week if we played with that intensity we-d have won the game very comfortably. Tonight I think we showed we can go away from home, defend well, and score some good goals.”
One of the Mariners goalscorers, John Hutchinson, believed such a taxing week had finally taken its toll on the home side.
“I thought they were broken after the first (goal) to be honest. You looked around and you obviously try to sense how a team feels after you-ve scored a goal, and it wasn-t the Brisbane Roar we come to expect when we come here.
“They-re always a physical side, they-re mobility is unbelievable and they are strong up front. I-m glad that they didn-t have it tonight to be honest,” said Hutchinson.
It may have taken a little longer than last week-s opener from Matt Simon just 14 seconds in, but still, the Mariners would have been over the moon with their start at Suncorp.
Dean Heffernan put a well-weighted ball into the penalty area for Simon to head back across goal, and a deflection off Bob Malcolm fell to Nicky Travis, who fired home from 12 yards, to give the Central Coast the advantage after just three minutes.
The Roar could well have equalized six minutes later if not for the heroics of Danny Vukovic, who was forced into a brilliant point blank save to tip a Sergio Van Dijk header onto the bar, after a wicked cross from Tommy Oar.
Matthew Crowell blazed an effort over from 25 yards as the Mariners continued to press, and the early pressure paid off as the visitors doubled their lead just 18 minutes in.
Michael McGlinchey played a ball through to Matt Simon, who layed off for John Hutchinson, allowing the Maltese international to stroll past some weak Brisbane defence to fire home, just hours after stepping off a 20-hour flight from Portugal, and two international matches against Angola and Portugal in the past week.
“John arrived at 2o-clock this morning, and put in a great 80 minutes, and if we left him on he would have still done the job, but it was the right thing to do to get him off and get some fresh legs on. Credit to John for a great performance and a great goal.
“I think the business class flight meant he got plenty of sleep on the way home, so he-ll probably put in a request to the chairman that he gets a business class seat every flight we go away on!” McKinna said.
“I saw the ball come in and just took a chance really. Simmo (Matt Simon) layed it off, and I was about to hit it, but I saw (Bob) Malcolm in front of me and I backed myself to take him, then it went in, so, you just close your eyes and hit it don-t you,” Hutchinson said of his goal, which capped an unbelievable week for the boy from country Victoria, who found himself sharing the same football pitch as the likes of Manchester United flyer Nani, and Chelsea stars Ricardo Carvalho, Jose Bosingwa and Deco.
“I was tired but I still think I was on a high from playing Portugal. We lost 4-nil and that-s not the result you want, but when you-re out there and playing against the players that I was playing against, I was chasing back at 4-nil once and I was smiling, because I was out there with Deco next to me and Nani running past me!
“You look around and think “I-ve come from Morwell, and I-m playing these guys”, so I think I was on a high still from that.
“The Maltese FA looked after me with the business class flight, so I didn-t feel too bad, but it was time to come off,” said Hutchinson.
The Roar were forced into a change on 23 minutes, when Bob Malcolm came out of a clash with Adam Kwasnik sporting a broken nose, while Van Dijk and Matt McKay both tried their luck from distance unsuccessfully, as the hosts tried to find a way back.
At the other end, Michael McGlinchey watched a shot from distance get deflected for a corner, but chances were few and far between as the half drew to a close.
Tommy Oar was proving highly dangerous down the left flank, the 17-year-old making good run once again before playing David Dodd through, however the pass proved just out of Dodd-s reach.
Pedj Bojic was introduced for Nicky Travis as Lawrie McKinna looked to close down more frequent Brisbane attacking raids, but the move proved more successful at the other end.
Luke Devere gave the ball away easily just outside his own 18-yard box, and Bojic took what was on offer, to go on a mazy run to the edge of the area, and launch a low, left footed drive past McMaster, and in off the back post to all but wrap up proceedings.
Bojic was to be the saviour at the other end too, clearing a Van Dijk header off the line as the hosts looked for some way back in.
Mario Karlovic saw a shot from the edge of the area sail wide as the clock wound down, but the Central Coast had done more than enough to pick up its second away win of the season, their third ever at Suncorp Stadium, and resume their charge toward the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Despite the resounding victory, McKinna would take heart out of the passion showed by his squad, still upset with the way they-d played in the second 45 minutes, despite rounding out the victory with a third goal.
“At the end of the game, the boys were disappointed with the second half, which I think is a positive sign,” said Hutchinson.
“We come here, win 3-nil against a team that we always struggle to beat, and the boys are disappointed with the second half. That-s what you want to see as a player, and obviously the Gaffer wants to see that as well.
“We-ve struggled in the past to string two or three wins together, but I think with the squad that we-ve got … it-s healthy for the team, and now we just look forward to next week, and hopefully we can back tonight-s game up with another three points,” said Hutchinson.
The Mariners take on Adelaide United on Saturday, 31 October at Canberra Stadium. Kick-off is at 7:00pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.
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Central Coast Mariners 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Matthew CROWELL, 7. John HUTCHINSON (6. David D-APUZZO 80-), 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 17. Chris DOIG, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Nicky TRAVIS (4. Pedj BOJIC 61-), 23. Adam KWASNIK (11. Dylan MACALLISTER 73-).
Unused Subs 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk).
Yellow Cards Crowell 28-, D-Apuzzo 85-
Red Cards None
Goals Simon 4-, Travis 18-, Bojic 70-
Brisbane Roar 20. Griifin McMASTER, 4. Craig MOORE (c), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD (29. Mario KARLOVIC 79-), 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 11. REINALDO, 15. Matt McKAY, 16. Bob MALCOLM (3. Luke DEVERE 23-), 18. Danny TIATTO (19. Isaka CERNAK 70-), 21. Tommy OAR, 27. Ivan FRANJIC.
Unused Subs 30. Matt ACTON (gk).
Yellow Cards Moore 71-
Red Cards None
Referee Peter GREEN