Hyundai A-League - 2010/2011 - Season 6

Victory Celebrate NYE Again
By Chris Dunkerley

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 21
6:00pm, Friday 31 December, 2010 (NYE)
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(og Adrian Leijer 48')
lost to
Melbourne Victory FC
(Diogo Ferriera 85', Grant Brebner 88')

(Photo linked from FFA site)

A bumper and festive New Year's Eve crowd of 12,409 at Gosford was stunned last night when Melbourne Victory again grabbed an away win over (a ten-man) Central Coast Mariners to spoil the fun of those looking to the new year.

The new year may indeed now unfold to reveal whether the home side are genuine Championship material and whether Melbourne Victory's re-found form will carry them all the way. On the night though the Mariners dominated the first half, but the send off of Adam Kwasnik after 53 minutes was always going to be a defining moment for the second - especially against a team that truly knows how to play against 10.

The Mariners started very solidly, with chances galore over the first 20 mins. Chances as it turned out that needed to have been put away.

In the first minute Olly Bozanic showed he was back in form with a confident run but with Adam Kwasnik slipping to the left the young midfielder chose to shoot, and being blocked the ball ran to Matt Simon who hit it wide on the right.

Some of best chances from the home side were when a Michael McGlinchey shot on target rebounded off a defender then off Adam Kwasnik, for a corner, and then Patricio Perez hit a free-kick low and through the wall but Michael Petkovic in the Victory goal was alert to the danger.

Mathew Ryan was brought into the game with a diving save off Carlos Hernandez who swivelled and hit his shot from 30m on the turn. The young keeper was ready and turned the ball away.

Again Petkovic had to make a save off Perez, who was getting more involved, and then Matt Simon blasted a shot from the left just outside the post and into the side-netting.

At the other end the Melbourne side weren't finding much joy, with newly called-up Soccero Robbie Kruse being passed across the defensive line, easily contained - even youngster Trent Sainsbury holding his own.

The break through for the home side came three minutes into the second half when Joshua Rose picked up a ball on the left and surged forward, crossing into the area for Kwasnik. As the striker closed Melbourne's custodian Petkovic came and looked to have the ball well cover. Alas for him defender Adrian Leijer thought he could intervene, pushing his leg out and succeeding only in knocking the ball into his own net. 1-0

There had been a running battle between Kevin Muscat and Adam Kwasnik all game, but it was a first half unnecessary tackle from behind by Kwasnik that got him his first yellow. The second half tackle by Muscat on Kwasnik was just bad enough to warrant a free kick but cynical enough to wind Kwasnik up when it wasn't given. That he was on a card, Ben Williams is flaky in his consistency, and that using the F word at officials is frought with danger should have meant something to the striker. Alas, no! So the Mariners faced 40 minutes with 10 men.

Although 'Arnie' took off Perez and tried to mix it up physically in the middle of the park, and they did try to play on the break, in the end it didn't work as they fell deeper and deeper in defence.

Typically it was playing in so congested an area that led to the first goal in the 85th minute. A cross from substitute Ricardinho found Evan Berger who got a weak header was saved by Mat Ryan but the ball stayed free. Grant Brebner tried to control the loose ball back but it bounced to substitute Diogo Ferreria who hit the net over the melee. 1-1

A draw may have been a reasonable result in the end, but the Victory were not standing on ceremony. In the 88th minute a ball into the box should have been smothered easily by Mariners 'keeper Matt Ryan, but instead is skewed from under him and as he clawed at it to retain it, Grant Brebner raced it and toe poked it into the net. 1-2

It was a sad loss for the home side and fans, but one that seemed to be coming as Melbourne pressed and the Mariners sat too deep. It shouldn't have come to that - the Mariners midfelders especially still not finding the net, and Adam Kwasnik and referee both in their own ways failing to deal appropropriately the baiting from Kevin Muscat!

Asked the secret of his team's third New Year's Eve win in Gosford, Victory coach Ernie Merrick had cause to be upbeat. "We enjoy the hospitality up here, we enjoy the beach, and we enjoy hitting the back of the net, so we are certaintly going to enjoy ourselves tonight. However we do have to play in NZ on Wednesday and we have a tough run of 6 games in 3 1/2 weeks now; it is going to be very tough!"

"We really came for a win tonight, and the last minutes were like last week, with late goals and that game was very important to us; so we weren't going to take the foot off the peddle until we have had the three points".

A dejected and obviously frustrated Mariners coach Graham Arnold made a plaintive cry for consistency. I got an inkling that he was talking about the refereeing and the MRP, however it might have better been directed at his team's goal scoring - they really should have been far enough ahead at half-time to weather the 40 mins of play with 10 men. To quote him rather than speculate, "I’m really proud of how the boys played and dug in after the sending off,” Arnold stated.

He said, “Everyone says that Melbourne along with Brisbane are the yardsticks in the competition. For me in that first half there was only one team on the field. In the end it took a rebound to break us down, but that’s football. Sometimes the bounce just doesn’t go your way.”

Asked about what he said to young ‘keeper Mathew Ryan whose spill of the ball allowed the match winning goal. “I told him to keep his head up and that he’s brilliant all year for us. He’s a young kid and young kids make mistakes. He’ll learn from it and become a better player,” Arnold added.

Arnold was still consistent himself with his faith in his squad to deal with the next two games when his depth will be tested again - the Disciplinary Committee review of the Match Review Panel on Pedj Bojic a key ingredient. They enjoy 9 days respite before hosting the 'Nix on the 9th, but then face rampant Brisbane a few days later.

2010/2011 Hyundai A-League - Round 21
6:00pm, Friday 31 December, 2010
at Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Central Coast Mariners FC 1
(og Adrian Leijer 48')

lost to
Melbourne Victory FC
(Diogo Ferriera 85', Grant Brebner 88')

    Crowd: 12,409


    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    20. Mathew RYAN (gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON (23. Mustafa AMINI +89’), 10. Patricio PEREZ (2. Daniel McBREEN +63’), 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY (17. Chris DOIG +73’), 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 23. Adam KWASNIK (RC)
    Substitutes not used: 30. Paul Henderson (rgk)

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Adam Kwasnik 41', 53’
    Red Cards: Adam Kwasnik 53'

    Melbourne Victory FC :
    Player listing:
    1. Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC (13. Diogo FERRERIA +46’), 8. Grant BREBNER, 11. Marvin ANGULO (19. Evan BERGER +77’), 12. Rodrigo VARGAS, 14. Billy CELESKI (9. RICARDINHO +71’), 15. Tom PONDELJAK, 16. Carlos HERNANDEZ, 21. Robbie KRUSE, 23. Adrian LEIJER
    Substitutes not used: 20. Sebastian MATTEI (rgk), 13. Diogo FERREIRA

    Coach: Ernie Merrick

    Yellow Cards: Michael Petkovic 90'+4'
    Red Cards: Nil

    Referee: Ben Williams 6/10
    Assistant referees: Ben Wilson, Hakan Anaz; Fourth official: Gerard Parsons

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Patrick Zwaanswijk (CCM) - Must be the best defensive import by far
    2. Matt Simon (CCM) - Played several roles given to him during the game with passion)
    1. Kevin Muscat (MV) - not for his gamesmanship which I despise, but for his leadership and all action game

    Pitch rating: /10

    Game rating: 7/10

    Match Report and ratings: Chris Dunkerley

Special Picture Gallery (All for BOTN )


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 implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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