My season’s underdog derby faced each other on a nice evening in Wellington. At the start of the season I picked both Wellington Phoenix and Central Coast Mariners as my underdog picks, both due to exciting coach recruitment. One has been a successful pick and the other was as successful as my last football trial.
Going into this game the Nix were clear favourites, mainly due to their recent excellent performances and the Mariner’s recent embarrassing performances.
The Mariners started this match a lot like they did in their last match against Sydney FC, with plenty of energy and looking like the better team. I kept waiting for another moment like previously to bring the energy down but thankfully for Mariners fans, they maintained themselves.
In the 6th minute Stephen Taylor treated Matt Simon like a lady with long pins and man-handled the skipper, much like Taylor’s co-curricular activities, bringing him down in the box. Ref pointed to the spot and Matt Simon got himself a penalty. The Wizard of Woy Way scored his pen easier than Hoole score’s in his spare time.
Speaking of Hoole, he decided to get busy on the park rather than off the park. Well he could still be getting busy off the park but he’s probably learnt his lesson after his last sexting scandal. Hoole was able to beat his men and powers his shot past Kurto and the man on the post, beating about 3 players with one shot.
This Mariners team were playing how I thought they would in pre-season. It was an absolute pleasure to see Jonathan Aspropotamitis return from rapturing his ACL while they had Millar being a little hassler, Hiariej hurrying the play and Melling looking telling.
After a bit of a stale finish to the first half, we see the Nix bring on their charismatic recruit, Sheridan, with the twitter game of, well, The Ladies League. Yeah you heard me. Just as I was thinking he may be an exciting, attacking addition to this flat side, Sheridan finds a lonely Krishna. As Krishna approaches the box Kye Rowles gives him a push in the back with the ref calling for an immediate red card and penalty. Kye rolls out of the stadium and Krishna easily scores the penalty.
Krishna obviously did something to really piss off the Mariners because just over 10 minutes later, Melling pushes him in the back and concedes another penalty. A little deja-vu, Krishna steps up, Krishna scores. I’d like to find me a man who can go down in the box multiple times and still have the ability to finish.
The Nix continue the possession and energy, hungry for more goals. We see Krishna sprinting towards the goal, looking for his third but passes it to the happiest man on the team, David Williams who’s making his run just to the left, received the ball and slots it home. There really is nothing like a David Williams celebration, it’s reminiscent of a dog when you say W-A-L-K.
In the 69th minute (classy) an awfully excited shirtless fan made his way onto the pitch, possibly hoping to grab himself a penalty, instead he got a good run before the security grabbed him.
The Central Coast Mariners started getting lazy and going in for cheap shots. Clisby with a slide tackle into Fenton’s ankle made the hairs on my arms stand up, as I currently sit here with two broken bones in my ankle. In my opinion it looked like a straight red. But I guess the referee was concerned about the losing team going down to 9 men and suffering and absolute annihalation. Geez and people think Sydney FC are favoured..
With 5 minutes of regular time remaining, what the Mariners thought was Jordan Murray’s equaliser was called offside after a confirmation from the VAR. You could hear the tears of Mariners fans all the way from Wellington. Well kind of, most of them are numb to this pain by now.
After 6 minutes of stoppage time which was played in the Mariners half, the whistle was finally blown and as we say every week, the Mariners were put out of their misery.
The Wellington Phoenix now face Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday evening while the Mariners head back home to play Brisbane Roar in the time-slot of death after the Victory Nix game.
By Rose Valente