Hyundai A-League Season 6

Phoenix fall to Central Coast
By Jeremy Ruane
(with the compliments of

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 14
7:30pm, Sunday 13 November, 2010 - Westpac Stadium, Wellington NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 0
lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 3
(Joshua Rose 17’, 80’, Adam Kwasnik 86')

The Central Coast Mariners inflicted a second successive Hyundai A-League home defeat on Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on 13 November, trouncing the New Zealand-based side 3-0 in front of 5,778 fans.

They weren’t impressed with their team’s efforts, either, as the visitors scored their first goals in seven matches against Wellington, the first of which came in the seventeenth minute.

And it had been coming. The Mariners first threatened ten minutes into the match, when All White midfielder Michael McGlinchey blazed a shot over the bar from in front, after Oliver Bozanic and Joshua Rose had combined on the left.

Four minutes later, a McGlinchey corner wasn’t cleared, which allowed Matt Simon to lash a volley goalwards. The ball struck Daniel McBreen and spun skywards, forcing Mark Paston to make an awkward punched clearance over his own crossbar - he could very easily have turned the ball into his own net.

A net which bulged following another contribution by McGlinchey, this time on the right flank. He steered the ball inside to young playmaker Mustafa Amini - no prizes for guessing what car he asked for when offered a playing contract!

Amini duly brought the galloping figure of Rose into play, and the overlapping fullback scythed inside before, from the edge of the penalty area, rifling a thumping drive into the top left-hand corner of Paston’s net to put Central Coast in charge.

Not content with one goal, the visitors sought a second soon after, and Paston all but aided their cause by making a real meal of it, fumbling what was a relatively tame shot from Amini round the post.

McBreen twice went close in the next five minutes as the Mariners pressed, just failing to get on the end of a probing McGlinchey free-kick on the first occasion - the covering block of Andrew Durante, in his 100th A-League appearance, certainly contributed to this - while Paston smothered his 24th minute shot after Wellington midfielder Simon Elliott had been caught in possession on the edge of his own penalty area.

Elliott’s failing was symptomatic of Wellington’s problems - too slow in possession, a lack of incisive movement off the ball, too much reliance on ye olde long ball forward in the hope that Chris Greenacre, Paul Ifill or Leo Bertos might get on the end of it …

The Mariners’ defence was too well drilled to allow that last option to beat them. They won just about everything going in the air all night long, and generally showed greater urgency and appetite for the contest compared to their opponents, whose first shot in anger was fired narrowly over the bar by Ifill on the half-hour.

Wellington were very much second best in the first half, yet they came agonisingly close to heading to the dressing rooms on level terms after three opportunities went begging in a two-minute spell just before the interval.

Manny Muscat made his way down the left before linking with Ifill, who evaded a couple of challenges before crossing for Greenacre. Patrick Zwaanswijk headed the ball off the striker’s head, but only directed it to Vince Lia, whose vicious low cross was scrambled clear by Alex Wilkinson in the 43rd minute.

Heartened by this, Wellington pressed again, this time via a short corner from Bertos to Ben Sigmund. He steered the ball back to Elliott, whose probing cross to the far post found Durante inches away from meeting it.

Within seconds, Wellington’s captain found himself on the end of an inch-perfect far post cross from Ifill, but Durante’s header flashed inches past the upright, a let-off to which the Mariners responded by unleashing Rose down the left at pace.

A thorn in Wellington’s side throughout, the former NZ Knights player got to the by-line before pulling the ball back into the stride of Amini. His squandered volley across the face of goal on the stroke of half-time meant a chance to surely kill off the home team was spurned.

Wellington responded to this let-off by forcing a series of corners early in the second spell, but it was Central Coast who enjoyed the first chance of the half ten minutes into it. Simon - for once refraining from trying to do referee Peter Green’s job for him - scurried down the left and cut inside before jinking past Jade North and whipping in a drive which Paston gathered gratefully at his near post.

Another cleared Wellington corner two minutes later landed in the stride of Elliott, some thirty yards from goal. He met the ball perfectly on the volley, and the sphere smashed against the crossbar and cannoned to safety - a real let-off for Central Coast, who had the ball in Wellington’s net seconds later, only for Zwaanswijk’s celebrations to be curtailed by the offside flag.

The home team’s pursuit of an equaliser turned a little nasty in the 65th minute, when Tim Brown sparked a gathering of the clans for his part in a Wellington attack. Lia fed Bertos on the right, and his clipped cross was anticipated well by Greenacre, who timed his leap perfectly, only to see his glancing header crash back into play off the inside of the far post.

Zwaanswijk was first to the rebound, and he headed it down for goalkeeper Matthew Ryan to gather. Brown came sliding in as he did so, forcing the ’keeper to save at his feet. What Brown did next was not appreciated by any of the Central Coast players, Simon in particular taking umbrage at the cowardly flick directed at Ryan’s head by the Wellington midfielder, whose booking takes him to five for the season, and an automatic suspension.

McGlinchey gave both Durante and North the runaround over the course of the next couple of minutes, while after Ifill was unable to direct a volleyed effort from Lia’s cross on target, Central Coast substitute Adam Kwasnik was denied a goal against his former club by the fingertips of Paston, who was at full stretch to thwart the newcomer fifteen minutes from time.

Four minutes later, McBreen went within inches of doubling Central Coast’s lead with a snapshot on the turn, but he and his team-mates had but sixty seconds to wait before they could celebrate a match-clinching goal.

The scorer was Wellington’s nemesis on the night. Rose had a fine game throughout, and crowned it ten minutes from time with his second goal. Zwaanswijk sent him careering down the left at pace, and he swept into the penalty area before standing up substitute Troy Hearfield and lashing a low drive under the diving figure of Paston - 2-0.

Lia and Kwasnik rattled the hoardings at each end of the ground in the next few minutes before the visitors delivered the coup de grace four minutes from time. Rose rampaged down the left once more, and this time linked with McBreen, who controlled the ball before shooting across the face of goal.

Kwasnik was dashing in behind the defence, and from an acute angle, managed to steer the sphere between the unsuspecting Paston and the near post to condemn his former club to a second successive home defeat, and clinch a thoroughly deserved 3-0 victory for Central Coast over a Wellington combination which is in dire need of fresh ideas and initiatives - in short, “Plan B” - from coach Ricki Herbert if they harbour play-off hopes.

Their fans’ singing efforts could also do with some variety - either that or silencing! When one considers the inept on-field display, repeated rounds of “Oh Wellington is wonderful” sound decidedly hollow, to put it mildly! Get it sorted, Yellow Fever - you’re better than that!

A-League 2010/2011 - Round 14
7:30pm, Sunday 13 November, 2010 - Westpac Stadium, Wellington NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 0
lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 3
(Joshua Rose 17’, 80’, Adam Kwasnik 86')

    Crowd: 5,778


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Mark PASTON (gk), 2. Manny MUSCAT, 6. Tim BROWN (11. DANIEL 73’), 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 9. Chris GREENACRE (23. Dylan MACALLISTER 80’), 15. Jade NORTH (13. Troy HEARFIELD 78’), 17. Vince LIA, 18. Ben SIGMUND, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 26. Simon ELLIOTT

    Substitutes not used: 19. Danny VUKOVIC (rgk)

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Tim Brown 64'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 2. Daniel McBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK (17. Chris DOIG 89’), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 11. Oliver BOZANIC (12. Matthew LEWIS 83’), 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 18. Alex WILKINSON, 19. Matt SIMON, 22. Mustafa AMINI (23. Adam KWASNIK 65’)

    Substitutes not used: 30. Paul HENDERSON (rgk)

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Patrick Zwaanswijk 18’, Olly Bozanic 48’, Matt Simon 70’
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Peter Green 5/10
    Assistant referees: Glen Lochrie, Mark Rule; Fourth official: Mathew Conger

    Pitch rating: 7/10

    Game rating: 4/10

    BOTN Player Points :

    3. Joshua Rose (CCM)
    2. Michael McGlinchey (CCM)
    1. Danny McBreen (CCM)

    Match Report by Jeremy Ruane

Disclaimer: The content of this report is the responsibility of the writer. Stats are either as recorded by the writer at the game, or as supplied by FFA, or a mixture - no responsibility can be taken for their compete accuracy although we do strive for that. Any photos used here, unless attributed, are as supplied by FFA and used by permission.

Crafted lovingly by hand
By fans, for fans
© Magic Llama 2000 - 2010