Hyundai A-League - 2011/2012 - Season 7

Mariners Edge Wellington In Uninspiring Spectacle
By Jeremy Ruane
with the compliments of

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 5
7:30 pm, Friday 4 November, 2011
at Westpac Stadium Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Chris Greenacre 69')

lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Bernie Ibini-Isei 48', Matt Simon 81')

(linked from FFA web site)

Central Coast Mariners moved out of the bottom four in the Hyundai A-League on November 4 after scoring a 2-1 win at Wellington Phoenix in front of just 5,090 fans at Westpac Stadium.

The lowly crowd figure suggests many were anticipating an uninspiring spectacle, and that is certainly what unfolded in the windswept stadium, where the visitors always seemed to have the edge against opponents who had just fifteen fit players from which to name a team for this match - a legacy of former owner Terry Serepisos’ fiscal shortcomings during the close-season.

Daniel McBreen’s thunderous twenty-five yard volley flew past the post in the third minute, and suggested a lively encounter may have been in store, but such enterprise proved to be the exception, rather than the norm.

Indeed, it took a further twenty minutes before another goalscoring opportunity presented itself, and that a result of an error by Daniel. Bernie Ibini-Isei pounced on the loose ball, and evaded four challenges inside the penalty area before Alex Smith blocked his shot.

The rebound fell to McBreen, lurking just outside the penalty area, and he let fly with a goal-bound effort about which Tony Warner knew little until it struck him and ricocheted to safety.

Eight minutes later, Rostyn Griffiths played the ball wide to overlapping fullback Joshua Rose, whose low cross zoomed across the bows of the incoming McBreen as Central Coast sought to break the deadlock.

Matt Simon broke down the same flank in the 33rd minute and whipped in a low cross which saw Ibini-Isei’s shot blocked to safety by Wellington debutant Brent Griffiths, who was deputising for the suspended Ben Sigmund.

On the stroke of half-time, the Mariners came desperately close to breaking the deadlock. Griffiths and Michael McGlinchey combined with McBreen to bring Oliver Bozanic into play, and his delicious low angled cross zoomed across the face of goal, just beyond the incoming figures of Griffiths and Simon.

The visitors had just three minutes to wait in the second half to break the deadlock. Griffiths and McBreen were the architects of the goal, with the latter’s penetrating pass inviting Simon to execute a first-time cross to the far post, which Ibini-Isei deftly turned home, much to the frustration of the natives.

The goal seemed to wake Wellington from their slumber - they had produced plenty of perspiration, but little penetration, to this point, with their final ball too often lacking both in accuracy and quality.

The best example of this was seen on the hour, when Leo Bertos rewarded Manny Muscat’s fine off-the-ball run with a pass to match. The overlapping fullback pulled the ball back … only to find the near post area devoid of yellow-and-black-clad team-mates providing suitably timed supporting runs.

Nine minutes later, however, Wellington’s fans had reason to cheer. Dani Sanchez slipped Chris Greenacre through the offside trap, and the striker lashed a low drive beyond Mathew Ryan and in off the far post to level the scores.

Central Coast’s response was route one in nature, and materialised fourteen minutes from time. Ryan launched the ball downfield, and Simon flicked it on into the stride of substitute Troy Hearfield, whose volley stung Warner’s gloves.

Back came Wellington, with substitute Nick Ward surging forward before slipping a pass to Sanchez, who clipped a cross to the far post, only to see those team-mates up in support arriving at the near …

Nine minutes from time, the game was up for Wellington. Pedj Bojic ran down the right before slipping the ball inside to Hearfield. The former Wellington player dashed to the by-line and held off a couple of his ex-team-mates before whipping in a cross to the near post, where Simon was perfectly placed to clinch a second successive 2-1 victory for his side, a result which fires them into the top half of the table.

2011/2012 Hyundai A-League - Round 5
7:30 pm, Friday 4 November, 2011
at Westpac Stadium Wellington, NZ

Wellington Phoenix FC 1
(Chris Greenacre 69')

lost to
Central Coast Mariners FC 2 (Bernie Ibini-Isei 48', Matt Simon 81')

    Crowd: 5,090


    Wellington Phoenix FC :
    Player listing:
    Tony WARNER (gk), Manny Muscat, Brent Griffiths, Andrew Durante, Tony Lochhead; Leo Bertos (Nick Ward +65'), Tim Brown, Dani Sanchez, Daniel Cortes (Nick Tsattalios +81'); Chris Greenacre, Alex Smith
    Substitutes not used: Phillip IMRAY (rgk), tba

    Coach: Ricki Herbert

    Yellow Cards: Nil
    Red Cards: Nil

    Central Coast Mariners FC :
    Player listing:
    Matt Ryan (gk); Pedj Bojic, Alex Wilkinson (c), Patrick Zwaanswijk, Joshua Rose; Michael McGlinchey, Daniel McBreen, Royston Griffiths, Oliver Bozanic (Brad Porter +90'); Matt Simon (Mustafa Amini +86'), Bernie Ibini-Isei (Troy Hearfield +73')
    Substitutes not used: tba (rgk)

    Coach: Graham Arnold

    Yellow Cards: Olly Bozanic 12'
    Red Cards:Nil

    Referee: Gerard Parsons 6/10
    Assistant Referees: tba; Fourth official: tba

    BOTN Player Points:
    3. Daniel McBreen (CCM)
    2. Royston Griffiths (CCM)
    1. Alex Smith (WP)

    Pitch rating: 8/10

    Game rating: 4/10

    Match Report and ratings: 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 implicitly supplied by FFA and used by assumed permission.

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