Sunday, 11 October 2015

REVIEW: Central Coast Mariners 3-2 Perth Glory (HAL Round 1)


Don't let the 3-2 scoreline fool you; this game could have, and probably should have been a more lopsided scoreline in favour of the home side. It's not that the Mariners weren't good; they were; and they reminded everyone just what a quality side they can be on their best day and with a young squad, there's definitely a lot of positives for Tony Walmsley and his men going into the new season...I'll come back to that though.

Perth Glory deserve a negative review due to the fact that they simply didn't show up to this one. Yes they were denied a goal by the offside flag early on but put that aside; they were awful. I feel bad for the handful of Perth fans that made the long trip over just to watch their team produce an uninspired performance.

The Mariners opened the scoring; rather luckily through Roy O'Donovan. Some pinball-like action in the box saw the ball hit the unaware Irishman in the chest and he managed to send it into the net. A smart finish by the marquee man for the Mariners and a goal that put the home side ahead.

Perth would hit back through an absolutely amazing header from Richard Garcia. I urge you to go and look this goal up if you haven't seen it yet as it is incredibly how Garcia went about heading it in from near the edge of the penalty box. I think Ned Zelic called it 'geometric precision' as the Glory captain equalised for his side.

The second half saw everything go down the drain for the visitors. They were already being troubled by the Mariners' wingers in Mitch Austin and Fabio Ferreira. When new Perth signing Guyon Fernandez produced what was no doubt a striker's challenge and brought down Ferreira inside the box; the former Adelaide man made no mistake; putting the Mariners up 2-1 from the spot.

No less than ten minutes later, another poor challenge inside the box; this time from Anthony Golec gave Ferreira a second chance to score from the spot and he made no mistake. The Mariners were up 3-1 and the Glory were falling apart at the back.

The Mariners scored three goals on just the lone occasion in 27 games last season so they'll be delighted with the great start but they lacked ruthlessness and missed a couple of great chances to stretch the lead. A win is a win and Tony Walmsley will be delighted with the way his side played. They looked very good and look to be a side on the rebound in Season 11.

Perth scored late on but it didn't help rescue what was a poor day at the office for the side from the west. Their attackers were getting lazy as the game got out of reach and were constantly blowing good counter chances by standing in offside positions and just generally lacking any real threat going forward. A lot to work on for Kenny Lowe and his men.

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Fabio Ferreira stepped up twice from the penalty spot but for me he did a lot more than that. He was agile and pretty much involved in nearly everything the Mariners did. He was continuously getting the ball and no doubt the Perth defenders would have been having nightmares about the Portuguese winger.

If it wasn't Ferreira on the right wing doing the damage, it was on the opposite flank where debutant Mitch Austin played what was arguably his breakout game in professional football. He was superb and his crossing was pinpoint accurate. No doubt Austin and Ferreira will trouble a fair few defences this season. 

Anthony Caceres didn't find the back of the net but it's what he did in midfield that helped the wingers and O'Donovan up front. The playmaker's vision was on point and he'll no doubt be key to the Mariners success this season.

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Credit to Tony Walmsley and the Mariners. I know a lot of the people here on Newysports (myself included) don't want to give too much praise but it was a quality performance and from what I've heard, Walmsley is doing an excellent job off the field. He has given time to the fans, and allowed the fans to give him some input. It's great to see a coach listening to the community.


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