While only the truly diehard fans care about these A League games, the players still have everything to play for.
Brisbane Roar outscored the Mariners 5-3 in this good old battle of the cellar dwellers. With no relegation or promotion, there’s a school of thought that says these games don’t mean enough.
But that’s just for the fans. The players can’t afford this sort of thinking. They’re playing for contracts and on this showing, both team's defenders should be sweating. These two teams showed that they’re not bottom of the league because they can’t score. They’re bottom because they can’t defend.
Jaimie Young proved to be the difference. He prevented this from being a 5-5 draw. The Mariners had some really good chances but the Brisbane keeper was just too strong.
The referee played his part as well tonight, sending off two Mariners and making a few contentious non-decisions.
Central Coast Mariners
Ben Kennedy - 5
Was the lesser of the two goalkeepers on display tonight. He should have done better with Mikkelson’s gorgeous header and he should have kept out Lopez’s second.
Sam Graham - 4
Not a great night for defenders. Central Coast just didn’t track the runs from the midfield. This is one of the most important defensive disciplines and the Mariners were simply all at sea.
Jonothan Aspropotamitis - 4.5
Caught flat footed for Mikkelsen’s goal. He’s got to do better for a central defender.
Kye Rowles - 4.5
Made some uncompromising tackles but let too many Brisbane attackers run passed him.
Matthew Millar - 8
He looked very dangerous down the right in the first half and nearly put away a header.
Aiden O’Neill - 4
He was very lucky not to get an early yellow card for a very clumsy and somewhat brutal smackdown on Wenzel-Halls. He took a very impressive shot early in the game and this proved to be an early sighter for his goal. He ruined what would have been a good performance with a red card. You can’t let your team down like that.