A cracking early goal from the Mariners, a retaken pen and a brutal attack on the corner flag rounded out the second derby of the season.
The F3 derby, a season draw card for fans north of Sydney (limited to NSW) and a regular snooze fest for fans of football worldwide. Bias aside, the lead up to this game was quite entertaining.
The Jets finally got to kick off their HAL season after being the first team to experience the new bye round, Merrick called the Fox Pundits dickheads live on air before the match and the Mariners dabbled in some arsey tifo tampering. All the ingredients for a cracking game at Gosford Park. Then add the saucy backdrop of the MasterFoods inflatables and you’ve got yourself a tasty fixture my friends.
Is there a better sight than the smoky brown of the BBQ sauce bottle contrasted against the pink hued sunset over Gosford? Didn’t think so.
Only five minutes into the first half and the Mariners pull ahead. A floated pass from Jordan Murray picked out Milan Djuric, who volleys it into the bottom right hand corner. I take everything back about the snooze fest, that was pretty schmick.
Despite their perfect start, the Mariners were quickly bettered by the Jets in the first half. Luckily for them, the Jets just couldn’t put away their chances.
Just before half time there is a cross to Tara on the sideline (ab-sol-ute Qween, armite?) who daren’t repeat the choice words coming from the Mariners’ bench. I would support the release of a full transcript but Tara is a professional, so we’ll just have to use our imaginations for this one.
Half time: CCM 1 – 0 NEW
Matt Simon replaced Murray at the start of the second half, so you know it’s about to get zesty in Gosford. Not sure what Staj said at half time but the Mariners came out hungry for a second goal. Djuric’s chance is just wide a minute in and Daniel DeSilva left the Jets back line dead in their tracks as he weaved through the box, but his brilliant cutback off the line was for nought.
After the nervy start the Jets jumped right back into attack and up straight up the other end in search of an equaliser. Ugarkovic had some colourful language that’s beeped out on the stream after the first pen shout was waved away. There’s another shout moments later and again the ref doesn’t budge.
The Jets kept on the offensive in and around the box and were finally awarded a pen on the third shout after Gallifuoco gets a hand to the ball in the box.
Absolute scenes as Birighitti anticipates the direction of Dimi Patratos’ pen and pushes it out for the corner. At first glance it’s an impressive save but the VAR picks up that he was off his line, earning Birighitti a yellow and a reprieve for Dimi as the pen is retaken. Fair call, I’m all for keepers being pulled up for this after Barbara’s antics at the Olympics.
Petratos stepped up to take the second pen, shooting the same way and doesn’t miss this time. His celebration included a brutal attack on the corner flag, intensifying the boos around the stadium. Petratos is the villain we all deserve and it’s a ballsy move in a game that also includes Simon.
Not to be outdone, Simon received a yellow card not long after, his 50th in the A-League and it’s touching that he’s reserved such an achievement for the derby.
Both teams with chances late in the second half but rather unsurprisingly we were left with the second draw of the night. Not a great start for the Jets (I’m quietly hoping they make Finals so Merrick can call out the pundits again) but it’ll do.
Full time: CCM 1 – 1 NEW
By Bree Reidy