It’s Saturday Night, I’m having a glass of wine overlooking the scenic Terrigal beach and my team just scored 3 points on the road. Now let’s back up a little bit.
We headed up the Coast on a weird weathered Saturday afternoon. Thankfully there wasn’t much smoke heading up towards the Central Coast, as opposed to the Northern Beaches the day before. There was an unusual warmth in the air. The thick fog from the fires up North was still covering the sun which assuming would’ve be hot as all fuck for the 5pm kick off, with just enough wind to keep us cool.
Coming into this game I was unsure who would go home with the chicken dinner, Stajc’s men have been inconsistent as of late. They have had some really good performances and some not so good performances. Are they currently on the rise and just trying to find their feet or did they just have a couple of good performances. And then there’s Adelaide United. Their knight in shining armour, Al Hassan Toure, is off in China with the Olyroos (who scored overnight) and is it time for their bubble to burst? Yes they started the season with a couple losses but since the FFA Cup win, everything’s been coming up Milhouse.
Adelaide struggled to find their feet and talk to one another in the first 15 – 20 minutes and the Mariners were making plenty of attacking runs. Given the runs weren’t amounting to much, the whole game plan was to cross long balls to Duric and no matter what you do, he will find some way to control it. I don’t think any player in the world is able to control some of the shit being sent his way.
Adelaide gave away a penalty in the 6th minute which pissed me right off. It was pretty fucking soft but Marrone’s arms were technically touching the back of Silvera who falls like a feather. Milan Duric steps up for the penalty and slots it hard and high into the left corner. If you haven’t been to a Central Coast Mariners home game, they have a cannon situated next to the away bay which fires every time there’s a home goal. Because you know, the 5pm blazing sun directly in your eyes isn’t enough as an away supporter they have to fire a fucking cannon in front of you. Unfortunately this cannon caused the Osprey who have nested above a flood light at the stadium, to fly off. It was an extra sad moment as an Adelaide fan (I’m sure they returned shortly).
Continuing on the theme from Fox Sports last weekend, where the commentary accidentally called Jordan Murray, Andy at one stage, Kurt Ams decided to turn this football match into a tennis match. The referee stopped for so may soft touches that I began to think he was moonlighting as an ice-cream truck and hasn’t gotten out of the stop start mentality. Towards the end of the match, he was calling for practically every challenge and I can confirm I was certainly losing my mind.
By the 26th minute Halloran finds the back of the net with a strong hit from the near post after a lovely ball from McGree and the Reds are increasingly dangerous by the minute. A lot of balls were coming in from the right through to Troisi who was hanging in his usual spot just outside of the box. I am certainly impressed with Jimmy’s ability to compose himself this season with the Reds as opposed to 45 shots in Row Z last season with the Victory. His finishing still needs work but I am looking forward to him finding his feet and sending in some screamers this season.
This game was missing one thing, a spark from Nikola Mileusnic, fortunately for Adelaide fans, it wasn’t far away. Maria with a cross to Mileusnic in the box who smashes it into the top corner with a volley in what feels to be the season of Mileusnic. Not that you can tell with the competition he has within this team. The story of Adelaide United for what feels like a decade now, goals from all over the park and in every position.
The Opsething first half for the Mariners didn’t end there. Halloran beats Jack Clisby to find Opseth approaching goal and the Norwegian striker slots it in with the tip of his left foot. The Reds put the nail in the coffin and have their 3-1 lead.
Early in the second half Giancarlo Gallifuoco, who has clearly being spending time with Matt Simon, gives Riley McGree’s left calf a hammering in the box and Kurt Ams points to the spot. Kristian Opseth steps up but goes low and central, easy for Birra to save and destroys my personal game plan of build up your goal difference lads.
After the longest second half of my life, watching my team park the bus, I went home a winner. Now we set our eyes onto the real spicy one, the Original Rivalry. Cos it doesn’t matter what it is, Victorians and South Australians cannot stand each other. For the Mariners, they have Western United at home and well, if the Jets can beat them, so can you guys.
By Rose Valente