To finish off the Circus that has been the Central Coast Mariners in 2018, the New Years Eve fixture against Perth Glory did not disappoint.
Perth Glory with their usual fiery start opened the scoring in under 3 minutes. Keogh placing one in like it’s nobody’s business.
The energetic attack from the men from the West didn’t stop there. A set piece sent Mrcela bolting towards the ball but found himself tripping over the keeper’s save, rocketing into the back of net. Hilariously for spectators everywhere, this caused one of the goal posts to detach from the ground and break. As the entire goal was hanging a little to the left, FFA dubbed this unacceptable to continue play.
The Mariners staff had to scramble to fix this goal post, unfortunately discovering it wasn’t just pulled out of its socket, but broken. Impressively the netting was still attached to the actual post. Talk about clingy.
A temporary goal was approved by FFA, brought out and fitted appropriately to continue play however they needed to have matching goals for fair play. So two temporary goals were brought out at either end. I guess the erection’s started early on the coast tonight.
After 45 minutes delay, the teams were back out to continue the first half.
The Mariners clearly had a tough team talk in the break as they came out with much more enthusiasm. While they maintained as much possession as Mitch Nichols in off-season, they just couldn’t finish where it counted.
As per the Perth Glory handbook, Davidson finds Fabio Ferriera racing up the right to produce a fine bang on the counter giving the Glory a 2-0 lead.
In the 41st minute Fabio Ferriera with his second, found the top left of the goal on what looked to be the most beautiful cross gone wrong in rightest way possible. With even his man on the back post a little confused on how the hell that went in.
By the second half the Glory decided to sit back and set up their deck chairs in preparation for the 9:15pm fireworks show. The Mariners started to bite and bite further looking for goal and thankfully as it neared the end, Jordan Murray tapped in his first A-League goal, catching the Glory not ball watching but fireworks watching.
With all the distraction off the pitch, the Mariners finally found a way to score. I wonder if that pitch invader on crutches is available..?
Popa pissed the lads dropped their game, Santalab tried to counter attack as the super sub he is but wasn’t able to score in his new colours.
The Mariners trio of Oar, Simon and Murray were desperate to give the fans something to be excited about in what is their poor existence of life from the bottom of the table.
By the time we got to stoppage time, Franjic slides in a silky pass to Keogh and they take the 4-1 lead, using a trip to the Coast as a goal difference booster.
The Glory get to return on their 5 hour trip home with a smile on their face and the Mariners have a hell of a lot of work to do before they face Sydney FC next week. Maybe Gameiro will make a miraculous recovery?
By Rose Valente