Adelaide United vs Central Coast Mariners at Coopers Stadium

Result: Adelaide 3 - Mariners 1

Tough Result in Adelaide

The end of the 2021/22 season for the Mariners came in Adelaide on a damp Sunday afternoon. The Reds proved to be too high a hill to climb but Central Coast can be satisfied with their achievements. At the start of the regular season campaign, the team set two goals. The first was to reach the final of the FFA Cup. The second to play A-League Finals.

The early exchanges gave chances at both ends of the pitch. In the 14th minute Marcos Urena was fed a defence-splitting ball. The Costi Rican international raced forward but ran out of room as Gauci in the Reds goal smothered his attempt.

Next, it was Beni N’Kololo who left two defenders in his wake with a shimmy and shake. His shot thundered across the goal but the local custodian was able to palm the ball away while at full stretch on the turf.

Adelaide were inspired by a dynamic performance from Craig Goodwin on the left flank. In fact, it was from this player that the first goal came in the 25th minute. First a misplaced pass was pounced on by the Reds. A precise defence-splitting ball aided by a mistake in the middle of the defence allowed Goodwin to take control and fire past an advancing Birighitti.

Two minutes later the ball was fed to the Mariners right wing where Lewis Miller looped a cross which was expertly met by Urena. His headed attempt went harmlessly over the bar.

Apart from the goal, the first half was an even contest with good passages of play from both sides.

Coach Monty introduced Garang Kuol at the start of the second half for his earliest substitution so far. The Mariners had the ball in the net at the 56th minute. Max Ballard drove forward leaving a number of opponents in his wake. He threaded the ball into a small space for Jason Cummings to race onto. From there it was a matter of course for the Scotsman to find the net. Unfortunately, the cheers of Mariners supporters soon turned to despair as the ‘equaliser’ was ruled offside.

Ten minutes later Adelaide went two goals up as an excellent left wing cross by Goodwin found Kosegi Yengi who had no problem to fire home.

Mariners fans enjoyed a moment of glory as firstly Kuol neatly fed Ballard on the left who in turn put the ball across to the other side where Storm Roux, on for the injured Miller, delightedly shot along the deck and into the target for his first Mariners goal for this season. All this excitement happened with twenty minutes to go.

Time added on brought the third and final goal for Adelaide United as the Mariners were trying to press for an equaliser. It was a brilliant solo effort by late substitute Bernardo.

The season came to end for the Mariners. It will now be interesting to see what changes might occur in the off season. There is already much speculation as the club moves forward to an era of a new investor/chairman (subject to approval by APL and Football Australia).

 

Central Coast Mariners vs Newcastle Jets at Central Coast Stadium

Result: Mariners 2 - Jets 0

Solid Win

Before a crowd of almost 12000 on a cool evening, the Mariners marched on with another win over the invaders from Newcastle. In yet another exciting exhibition of The World Game, the home team proved too strong for the visitors by two goals to nil.

The Jets came out with all guns blazing determined to revenge the recent 4 – 2 defeat at Hunter Stadium. They in fact struck the post with a rasping shot in only the first minute.

The game swung from end to end, and it wasn’t until the 18th minute that the first corner fell to the home side. Nothing came of it but in the 30th minute Lewis Miller made a raid down the right-hand side, providing the ball to Goddard whose shot was saved. However, the clearance from the Jets went straight to Max Ballard who turned provider to Cummings inside the box. This proven goal scorer beat two defender and with his left foot directed the ball to the top left corner of the goal with the Newcastle keeper given no chance.

The game resumed in the second stanza at the same hectic pace. Within two minutes the Jets had their best chance when it was easier to score than to miss but ‘miss’ they did.

Beni N’Kololo was proving a handful. A delightful chip from him beat the custodian but was cleared by a desperate defender.

Almost inevitably the Mariners increased their lead. In the 61st it was Storm Roux in an unfamiliar left back position who sped forward, slipped the ball to Moresche with a superb feed. The Brazilian found an unmarked N’Kololo with a through ball. In a one-on-one between the Frenchman and Jets goalie Michael Weier, the Mariner won out. N’Kololo then went on to an empty net to put the home side ahead by two to nil.

There was to be another chance for Beni N’Kololo to embarrass the Jets goalkeeper when he was found to be well out of his goal. N’Kololo received the ball in midfield and tried to lob Weier but unfortunately the keeper had worked his way back in time to save it.

Future star player Garang Kuol had the crowd on its feet in the 71st minute as he belted the ball towards goal from a narrow angle. Unfortunately, he hit the side netting.

The Finals are now before the Coast team as they travel to Adelaide to take on United at Coopers Stadium. The game is set down for Sunday with a kick-off at 4:05pm (Gosford time).

 

 

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