Probably the only football game, this weekend, that wasn’t called off due to the intense rainy weather. Rained out, cold and windy, the show must go on, and a very different show it will be tonight as it’s the first game with new leader of the pack, Alen Stajcic, managing the Coast!
After being appointed as new CCM manager, the legendary former Matilda’s coach is back in business and determined to turn things around for the Mariners.
But before we can talk about anything, I have to start at the beginning and state the obvious first. The first half way dull as dirt, so I’m gonna do everyone a favour and just skip to the good parts. That would be the ENTIRE SECOND HALF!
In this half, we get a little more of a fight from the Mariners (little, is an understatement) as they charge forward a number of times. And not soon after, the Staj effect begins to show as young talent and former APIA star, Jordan Murray, nets a classy goal, his 3rd goal of the season, to put the Mariners in the lead! 50 Minutes into the game, it’s 1 – 0 in the F3 Derby and it’s not looking good for the Jets.
The Jets continue to crumble as the Mariners smack in another to make it 2 – 0! Connor Pain with the 3rd, within 16 bloody minutes, the Mariners have scored 3 and the whole damn fighter Jet has just gone up in flames right about now. No longer air worthy, the Jets are falling and falling fast.
Could it be the first F3 derby the Mariners have won in such a long time?! (I say such a long time because I honestly can’t remember for the life of me when they last won a derby. Someone who knows, give me a hand)
To quote Simon Hill “Surely the Mariners can’t screw this one up?” …or can they?
It certainly started to look like it, as Roy O’Donovan gets a goal for the Jets to make it 3 – 1. 15 minutes to go and we all know that 15 minutes is enough to ruin any lead, just ask my team.
Give the Jets a few more minutes and they make it 3 – 2 with Ronny Vargas. THE COME BACK IS ON. WITH 10 MINUTES TO GO! The tables have turned, as the Jets are back up in the air while the Mariners begin to sink, crumbling under the pressure.
Wondering if they can hold onto this lead for the sake of Alen, they do by some goddamn miracle. It’s the Football gods lending the Mariners a hand when the cluster and fumble between Jets and Mariners in the box, causing a loose ball, a chance by Sheppard, to be blocked, and sent away from the danger area! For once, the Mariners are in the right place at the right time!
The clock ticks and THE JETS GET A PENALTY!
After thinking about repainting my room and going through a bunch of swatch colours on the Bunnings Warehouse website, because of how long the VAR is taking to make a decision on the foul, it’s finally given and O’Donovan steps up to the spot.
Will they screw this one up? will the Mariners lose their lead? Has Simon Hill jinxed the poor bastards?
First, Ben Kennedy makes the save of his Mariner career but then the Mighty Macedonian runs up to take the rebound shot and makes it 3 – 3 for the Jets! The utter madness, the drama and last minute turn around at MacDonald Jones Stadium tonight, could bring the house down!
But here’s what also went down, another VAR review.
Turns our Danny G was inside the penalty box before O’Donny even took the shot, making it an unfair goal, forcing a retake. This decision, off course, pisses off every single Jets supporter the roams the earth. But surely a second shot at the penalty will be easy to take, right? A second chance at the penalty is a gift from the football gods.
WRONG, BECAUSE KENNEDY, SAVES THE DAMN THING AGAIN! THE STADIUM GOES WILD!
The countdown towards the last dying minutes of the match come to an end, and a Victory for the Central Coast Mariners, under Alen Stajcic!
Ladies an Gentlemen, it was a beautiful night in Newcastle for this struggling team, and I have a feeling it will be a beautiful future for them with Staj.
The return of the Central Coast glory days? We shall see.
By Christina Trajceska