Jake McGing says his first goal in the A-League was one to savour after being sent off previously in the F3 derby last season.
McGing scored a diving header off Fabio Ferriera's pass on Sunday to help the Mariners to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle. The central defender got there first to the set-piece to notch his first-ever A-League strike.
"We work on our set-pieces and we were lucky it paid off for us," he said.
"It's always good to score, especially as a defender as you don't score very often. To score in any game, especially a derby, is a good feeling. The last derby I got sent off so, that was a bad feeling and this derby was a good feeling.
"I was just trying to get to the far post and I was hoping the ball would fall there and it did. I was happy it fell for me."
Newcastle equalised in the second half but the Mariners held on, despite playing for 25 minutes with 10 men, for a draw.
"I definitely thought the three points could have been ours, especially after the way we played in the first half," McGing said.
"We could have had three, four goals in the first half but in the end it was not a bad result considering we had a man sent off for the last 20. So it's good for us to hold out."
McGing has made 30 appearances in the A-League after making his debut last season. The 22-year old joined the Mariners in 2015 from Western Sydney.
McGing has played every game for Central Coast in 2016/2017, a permanent fixture in the backline.
"It's been going well," he said.
"The results... we should have got a lot more wins. But personally, it's been going well. I've been playing so that's all you can ask for really. We're a lot more compact at the back this year.
"We're a lot more solid as a team in defence. We're talking a lot more, we're getting a lot more feedback from the coaches."
McGing has enjoyed learning off former Socceroo Paul Okon.
"It's great," the centre back said.
"He was a great defender when he played so any words of wisdom from him is taken on board."