Central Coast add to Wellington’s woe


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    Central Coast have snapped an 11-game winless run, defeating Wellington 1-0 to climb – at least briefly – out of the A-League abyss.

    Daniel De Silva popped up in first-half injury time to score a goal that might end up saving the Mariners from the wooden spoon.

    Entering Friday night’s fixture in ninth and equal on points with the last-placed Phoenix, the Mariners sorely needed all three in Gosford.

    While they hardly put their Kiwi visitors to the sword, the laboured victory lifts Paul Okon’s battlers into eighth and, more importantly, stops them slipping rock bottom for the first time since round one.

    “It’s been a long time,” Okon said.

    “If I’m honest, it’s been too long – we should have had more wins.

    “But we’ll enjoy this one tonight and move on pretty quickly to a very tough away trip to Perth in two weeks.”

    The Phoenix clearly arrived with a plan to sit off and counter-attack, but were victims of their own trepidation and demonstrated little in the way of cohesive moments in transition.

    Sarpreet Singh, in his second career start, took a wild skyward swing while Dylan Fox headed well over the bar in Wellington’s only real chances before Roy Krishna sparked to life after the break.

    The Mariners enjoyed most possession and worked the ball into good areas but rarely threatened with any real certainty.

    De Silva’s provider Andrew Hoole shone as the Mariners’ primary attacking outlet and marginally missed a drive from distance, while Alan Baro and Wout Brama were easily denied by Tando Velaphi.

    The hosts’ persistence finally paid off close to halftime.

    Hoole engaged Trent Buhagiar in a lovely one-two before cleverly picking out De Silva’s run, the playmaker catching the ball on the volley and flicking home off the outside of his boot.

    Had the Phoenix exercised more conviction, they might have left with something, but Darije Kalezic’s side made it easy for a Mariners outfit who only last week blew a two-goal lead over 10-man Adelaide.

    Krishna rattled the crossbar – though a teammate was offside – and then embarked on a promising solo run only to find the side netting.

    The Mariners were searching for a second goal and Hoole’s 69th-minute free-kick appeared to be it, until substitute Blake Powell’s header hit the upright and was somehow cleared off the line by Andrew Durante.

    That turned into a Phoenix breakaway and a brilliant cross-goal Krishna ball as Andrija Kaluderovic gave the side netting another workout.

    Dutch midfielder Tom Hiariej was subbed off 15 minutes from time with what Okon thought might be a hamstring injury as the Mariners dug in to weather a late Wellington onslaught.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (7)

    • February 24th 2018 @ 7:16am
      j,binnie said | February 24th 2018 @ 7:16am | ! Report

      Let’s be honest. This was a bottom of the “heap” clash and didn’t it show,where it matters, out on the field?.
      Seldom in a game of football could the statistic “unforced error” been given so much attention. as players on both sides almost consistently gave away possession to their opponents, and no matter how often one looks for excuses, this can only have the same outcome, bad football, frustration for fans who spend their hard earned money to be entertained, and worst of all, the lack of the aforesaid “entertainment factor,” reflecting on attendance,with CCM’s worst crowd of the season fronting up for the “torture”
      In a time of great unrest in our professional game,this was not a good “advert”. jb

      • February 24th 2018 @ 9:15am
        Kangajets said | February 24th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        J b

        First gsme this season I deliberately didn’t watch on Fox

        What would have made this game more important…… relegation at the end of the season

        But anyhow, good on the mariners, they deserve a win .

        And Wellington deserve to be removed and be replaced by Canberra United asap or Wollongong

      • February 24th 2018 @ 10:06am
        Fadida said | February 24th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        It was an awful game jb. There was a period of play in the first half when both sides were repeatedly misplacing 5-10 yard passes, McGing and Burns at the centre of the “action”.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 10:46am
      Waz said | February 24th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Worse even than this game, is Kalezic announcing he will use the remaining games as trial games for next season. This game, and that attitude, is why we need relegation ASAP

      • February 24th 2018 @ 12:32pm
        j,binnie said | February 24th 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

        Waz – When your team is lying stone cold last in a 10 team league and you only have 3 home games left and with crowds dropping dramatically, what can you expect from a coach being interviewed only minutes after watching this game?.
        Ask yourself this question. How many of this Phoenix ream would hold a place in your favoured team ,Brisbane Roar at this point in time. I would hazard a guess and say perhaps Durante and Krishna (who appears totally dis-illusioned) could stake a claim, so if this coach is as wise as his credentials state, I think he would be better using the next few games to try something new, for anything would be better than last night’s performance. jb.

        • February 24th 2018 @ 3:16pm
          Waz said | February 24th 2018 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Under the current system jb that’s exactly what he should do. I have no problem with him doing the right thing as he sees fit for his club.

          However, imagine if the bottom club got relegated – he would do something different right?

          That’s the issue I have. Relegation would prevent this laid back approach to competitive games.

    • February 24th 2018 @ 7:54pm
      Kris said | February 24th 2018 @ 7:54pm | ! Report

      Probably park the bus and come up with something even less watchable? At least both sides were trying to win – they were just rubbish.

      I’ve watched many many many relegation battles. There might be something at stake, but there is rarely any football being played.

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