Central Coast Mariners were coming off a heart-breaking loss last week against Perth Glory. They carry with them the heavy burden of being the only side without a win in the campaign so far.
Before the match Matt Simon said “It’s a huge game for us back at home and we haven’t had a win yet. Everyone is keen to get that first win.”
Back at home in Gosford, Mike Mulvey's side faced Sydney FC who themselves were looking to bounce back from the Big Blue defeat.
Central Coast Stadium played host to a tough, open game of football, where history pointed to a Sky Blues win due to their dominance of this fixture, only losing once in 12 fixtures.
The Mariners came out of the box with so much intent, pressing, moving the ball quicker than Steve Corica side, with a lot of energy about them in the first half.
But Sydney after the break gathered their experience and played the better football, where it appeared the Mariners were tiring. It ended Central Coast Mariners 1-2 Sydney FC.
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Ben Kennedy – 7
Quiet-opening, made one mistake from a cross but was rescued by his defenders. Could not stop the penalty from Adam Le Fondre's powerful strike.
Jack Clisby – 7
Very early chance to score in the first minute, getting forward when possible, dangerous balls into the box. Let himself down by clipping Rhyan Grant in the penalty box. Sub on the 83min.
Kye Rowles – 7
Another solid display in defence, following on from last week.
Antony Golec -7
Tracking Sydney’s attacking players, staying solid in defence
Jake McGling - 7
Came in for Cisse and had a good start, couple of sloppy tackles but not in dangerous areas.
Aiden O’Neill – 7
Good job in midfield, pressing forward.
Mathew Millar – 7
Fantastic start with an early cross for Clisby to score. Produced a brilliant cross for the opening goal which resulted in a Matt Simon tap in. Causing so many problems down Sydney’s left-hand side, Zullo unsure how to handle him. Powerful direct running with superb ball control.
Jacob Melling – 6
Looked lively, doing his job in the midfield but was giving away too many sloppy tackles throughout the game.