It was a happy no(e) L for Mariners’ fans, whilst Adelaide went home on the nought-y points list following Central Coast ‘sleighing’ the Reds in a 2-1 victory to see out the final game before Christmas.
Coming off the bye and a heatwave, Adelaide appeared like most of us at work during this time of year; making an appearance, but not much else. The absence of Boland, McGree, Izzo, Opseth, and Blackwood meant slim squad pickings for Verbeek (has anyone checked Hawaii?). Many Reds’ fans were taken by surprise at the news of Izzo not travelling to the Coast, however the severe drop in Insta story activity really should’ve been an early tip off that something was amiss. In contrast, the Mariners were boosted by the inclusion of Murray and Oar.
United would’ve wished this game had a ‘skip intro’ button as the Mariners pounced quicker than me on free drinks at my work Christmas party. Whilst this time of year sees me producing nothing more than thigh rolls, it was an unmarked Kye Rowles who produced the goods in the 4th minute as Adelaide failed to clear their lines.
The goal appeared to boost the Mariners who were coasting in the first 20-odd minutes, with Adelaide unable to break down their highline. Momentum then shifted back towards the Reds in the later stages of the first half. Konstandopoulos, Halloran, and Troisi all had multiple opportunities but a lack of accuracy and finishing meant it was coal rather than a goal in United’s stocking.
With Adelaide unable to convert their chances, the Mariners soon jumped on theirs. The 42nd saw ‘outside-the-box’ specialist Duric send in an absolute rocket to the bottom left corner to double the lead.
It was unclear what was said during the Reds’ half-time team talk but my God am I need of some of that motivation to start my 2020. Barely 45 seconds into the second half, Halloran sent in an absolute thunder bastard off a Konstandopoulos assist to put the Reds back into the contest.
Verbeek attempted to pull all punches by rolling out all subs by the 64th to field a midfield barely legal to drink as Troisi was pulled for Brook to team up with D’Arrigo. But in the end, it was not enough as Adelaide yet again paid for another poor first half to see the Mariners take all 3 points.
In a performance that gifted Reds’ fans more meh than myrrh, Adelaide let third spot go begging like a dog under the Christmas dinner table, to fall to fifth. In contrast, after ending 2018 with snapped goal posts, the Mariners managed to snap a home voodoo to snag their first back-to-back home wins in nearly 4 years and to bring up 9th time lucky against United. Will Adelaide be able to turn it around at home against WSW post-Christmas, or will we get another result as unwanted as Lynx Africa and any item from Wish combined?
By Hayley Routley