Youthful Mariners fall to Experienced Wanderers


Central Coast Mariners 1 (Powell 5’) Western Sydney Wanderers 4 (Jumpei 6’, Martinez 30’, McGing OG 50’ & Santalab 88’)

The Run Down

Despite opening the scoring in the fifth minute a young Central Coast Mariners squad have fallen 4-1 to the Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium.

After last Thursday’s triumph over Perth Glory, the Mariners were back in action at Central Coast Stadium in front of their biggest home crowd this season.

Both teams wasted no time settling in that saw two goals in 60 seconds after just six minutes of play. Blake Powell sent the Mariners ahead in the 5th minute but it was quickly cancelled out by a deflected goal to Wanderers Japanese winger Jumpei.

After a quick fire opening six minutes, play settled and the Mariners worked well down the right where they found their first goal through Storm Roux & Trent Buhagiar.

As the half an hour mark arrived the Wanderers hit the lead thanks to Nicolas Martinez who scored a diving header which seemed to bring the best out of the Mairners for the last 15 minutes of the first half.  

The Mariners ended the entertaining first half stronger, dominating possession and creating two golden chances. Striker Roy O’Donovan struck the post and winger Connor Pain struck a sweet volley that went just wide of the upright before heading into the break a goal down.

Five minutes into the second half a wicked cross deflected off the leg of Jake McGing and gifted the Wanderers a two goal lead.

10 minutes later play really opened up when Buhagiar had a prime one-on-one chance to jag a goal back before getting flattened by Wanderers’ keeper, Jerrard Tyson who was shown red for his challenge.

The red card forced Tony Popovic to make defensive changes, prompting Paul Okon to do the polar opposite. The Mariners pushed men forward and dominated from the hour onwards but couldn’t break down the Wanderers defence to get themselves back into the game. 

The Wanderers scored a fourth late on thanks to a Brendon Santalab strike from close range.

The pace of wingers Trent Buhagiar and Connor Pain were again a focal point in the Mariners attack but on several occasions the final ball was only just out of O’Donovan’s reach.

The Mariners now turn their attention to next weekend’s fixture away from home, as they travel to New Zealand to face the Wellington Phoenix.


5’ POWELL GOAL: The Mariners broke the deadlock in the 5th minute thanks to a great piece of play down the right hand channel from Storm Roux and Roy O’Donovan. Roux’s superb cross was met by Blake Powell who calmly slotted the ball past Tyson.

6’ JUMPEI GOAL: The Wanderers equalised a minute later when Wanderers’ winger Jumpei cut into the Mariners 18-yard-box, to take a shot that deflected slightly off Harry Ascroft and into the net giving Paul Izzo no chance

30’ MARTINEZ GOAL: The Wanderers took the lead in the 30th minute when midfielder Mitch Nichols found the head of Nicolas Martinez. Martinez’ powerful header found the back of the net sending them 2-1 up.

50’ OG McGING: The Wanderers made it 3-1 in the 50th minute when a Martinez cross struck the lunging foot of McGing.

88’ SANTALAB GOAL: Substitute Brendon Santalab sealed the deal for Popovic’s men when he fired home from just outside the 18-yard-box late in the second half.

Paolo in the press

“Its a little bit disappointing that we go up 1-0 which was a great goal, and then a minute later we allow the Wanderers to get cheaply into our penalty box and give them too much time on the ball and they replied straight away,” Okon said.

“We had two or three chances and probably should’ve gone into the break at two each and it changes the game a little bit.

“The Wanderers are a very good team and they’ve got some very dangerous players in the final third and that’s what punished us this afternoon.

“From our perspective, if the result had of been different, it wouldn’t of changed our season, we will go away and look at it. We have a tough away trip to Wellington next week then we are at home the following weekend against the Roar so the result doesn’t change anything for us. The performance was good, can we improve? Absolutely.

“If you take out Roy tonight, I think the average age was 21, we had two boys born in 97 who started in the midfield in Liam Rose and Adam Berry. The club’s moving in the right direction, the philosophy of this club is to give opportunities to young players and we are doing that. If you don’t have the experience it may cost, you.

“Losing Tavares is a big loss and Monty which we knew was going to be difficult to overcome but the boys worked hard and I can’t fault that.

“The Wanderers have experience and they sat back and closed the space and were waiting for us to make mistakes, which we did. I think we were trying to force it, the instinct was just to get the ball forward because we had one man extra, in fact, you need to continue to work and try and find the space and then try and hurt them. It sounds easy when you have an extra man but you’re not playing a pub team, you’re playing the Wanderers.

“Trent has been doing very well, he was excellent the other night against Perth. Fabio is a weapon against any team coming off the bench, we have four good wingers at the club and everyone’s competing for their spot.

“The fans were great, in Newcastle, the game against Perth and tonight, they turned up in numbers. It would’ve been good to go on with it after scoring the first goal but it was always going to be a tough afternoon for us against a very good football team, we thank them for that support and we hope people turn up and come and support us again in two week’s time when we play the Roar.”

Central Coast Mariners: 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX (Michael Neill 89’), 3. Scott GALLOWAY (Joshua Bingham 78’), 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL (Fabio FERREIRA 63’), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 14.Adam BERRY, 16.Liam ROSE, 22.Jake McGING
Substitutes not used: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Michael NEILL, 25.Ryan PETERSON

Yellow cards: Pain 59’

Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 8.Dimas (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ (Brendon Santalab 85’), 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI (Jaushua Sotorio 78’), 17.Artiz BORDA, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 23.Lachlan SCOTT (20. Andrew REDMAYNE 60’)

Substitutes not used: 5.Brendan HAMILL & 15.Kearyn BACCUS

Yellow cards: Clisby 34’, Nichols 61’, Pinatares 66’

Red Card: Tyson 60’

Saturday 3 December, 2016
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers
Attendance: 11075
Referee: Kris Griffith-Jones