It was the battle of the bottom teams with the loser to go into last place on the table, what an exciting match we were bound to be in for, no one likes to be bottom!
It started out as a positive game for the Mariners who scored after just three minutes, with Millar scoring his first a-league goal, with a sneaky slide past Jamie Young, maybe we actually were going to be in for a humdinger of a match. Millar has been exceptional recently and scoring his first goal made him hungry for more but he was unable to convert his chance only a few minutes later.
The next half an hour of the game saw the ref getting as much action as a couple on their honeymoon whilst the two teams resembled a married couple, five yellow cards were given out within half an hour, including Simon who received his fifth yellow for the season so he will be unavailable on Wednesday to face the Newcastle Jets. It was at this point we were certain this game was not going to end with 22 men on the pitch.
Whilst both teams tried to score they were off target or offside, lacking the finer touches to finish, the yellows came from some ridiculous tackles, a bit of school yard football coming out in everyone. I would like to say it was desperation from each team, but I fear it actually just two teams that need to fine tune a lot of their basic skills.
As my eyes think about closing just before half time, this Summer of football it really becoming hard to keep up with, DeVere gets in on some of this first a-league goal action on the edge of half time, converting a corner kick and making it 1-1. Will this awaken everyone for a more entertaining second half?
The teams come back out for the second half, Brisbane unable to convert their early chances, a story many a-league teams are familiar with this season. Maybe Adelaide aren’t the only ones that need to find a striker in this “mutual termination”, January transfer period. In the 72nd minute there’s calls for a Bowles handball as the Mariners put a cross in to the box. The ball visibly struck Bowles’s arm/hand however the referee and VAR determined this was not intentional and no hand ball.
This moment unleashes some energy for the Mariners, who see plenty of the ball in their half and the ball bobbles around in their box, but Brisbane hold them out with some desperate defending and solid work from Young in goals.
The second half contained a further four yellow cards, more build ups with no one scoring with only six shots on target from the two teams for the game, coming from twenty six shots! Nine yellow cards were given out for the game. Somehow thanks to their defenders Brisbane manages to hold on to the one all draw, sharing the points allows Brisbane to ride the Mariners on the table, keeping one step away from the wooden spoon.
This match completed the round of scrappy, flat football – one match being the exception. Here’s to hoping the Summer of Heroes one year actually thinks through the fact the players are forced to play in this heat and in a stale competition, giving the Summer of Heroes a less than impressive product.
The Central Coast have a quick turn around before they head up the F3 to face their neighbours/rivals Newcastle Jets whereas Brisbane Roar head back home and gear up for the awful Western Sydney Wanderers.
By Michelle Reid