Central Coast steal point in Melbourne

By Tomasz Ng

 

Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Season, Round 2

5:30pm, Saturday 19 October, 2013 – AAMI Park, Melbourne

Melbourne Heart 2 (David Williams 53′, 60′)

drew with

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Flores 71’pen, 77′ pen)

 

Central Coast Mariners came away from AAMI Park feeling a bit relieved following a comeback from two nil down to snatch a 2-2 draw against Melbourne Heart.

David Williams’ brace in the second half failed to win the points for Heart, who conceded two penalties which Marcos Flores confidently converted on both occasions.

The match was played on a beautiful surface at AAMI Park, and conditions were warm and sunny, but the first half was rather lacklustre in nature.

While Heart provided some good early pressure, neither team really got into a good rhythm in the first half as the match struggled to kick into gear.

It was the Central Coast Mariners who managed to create better chances, utilising their set pieces to great effect.

Just over the 20 minute mark, a powerful shot from Mitchell Duke was spilled by Heart keeper Andrew Redmayne, and the ball went behind for a corner, sending a bit of panic for the home fans.

From the resulting corner, Sterjovski’s cross was well met by Trent Sainsbury, whose looping header hit the crossbar and went out.

It was as good as it got for the away side, and they found themselves lucky to be level at the break, as Iain Ramsay missed two good chances to break the deadlock.

On both occasions, David Williams provided the service, but Ramsay could not find the target, sending one shot into the side netting with the second going just wide.

If the first half was a bit dull, the second certainly kicked off when David Williams found the back of the net eight minutes after halftime.

After the ball found its way to Golgol Mebrahtu, the young striker blasted a shot that deceived Justin Pasfield who could only deflect the ball back into the path of the on-rushing Williams, who rounded him for an easy tap in.

Central Coast responded to the goal by asserting some pressure, and they came so close to equalising when Storm Roux found his way into the box.

The right back cut it back to a free Nick Fitzgerald who skied a gilt edged chance into the relieved Yarraside.

It was a missed that the Mariners would rue, as a minute later, Mebrahtu again found himself in space and played an excellent through ball to Iain Ramsay, who simply played it across the area to hand Williams an easy tap in for his second.

As if to say enough is enough, Graham Arnold immediately threw on Matt Simon and Mike McGlinchey in the hope that they could spark Central Coast back to life.

The move had almost instant success, but the Mariners were still caught on the break by Melbourne Heart, as Mebrahtu latched onto a long pass which put him one on one with Pasfield.

He atoned for his error on the first goal by sticking out a leg to save Mebrahtu’s shot, and ensure Central Coast remained in the contest.

Then came a series of events which turn the game on its head.

Marcos Flores, who had been good all game for no success, won a corner for the Mariners with a deflected shot.

From the corner, referee Ben Williams spotted a pull on Matt Simon, which impacted his ability to challenge for the ball and awarded Central Coast a penalty.

While most around the ground had no idea what was going on, Flores coolly despatched his penalty to Redmayne’s right, pulling a goal back.

By now, Matt Simon and Mike McGlinchey were beginning to wreak havoc, which forced Aloisi into bringing on Patrick Gerhardt.

It was not long before the Liberian international made his first contribution to the game, unfortunately it was not a positive one as he handled a drilled Central Coast cross, handing the travelling side yet another penalty.

Marcos Flores stepped up yet again and sent Redmayne the wrong way to score a crucial equaliser for the Mariners.

The contest now lifted a little in intensity, and it was actually the Heart who tried to hit back as the game came to a close.

Iain Ramsay was found on the left wing, and produced an excellent cross for Williams, who just had to tap it in for his hat trick, but Pasfield stuck out his leg to make an excellent save.

Williams could not believe his luck, as he was almost certain he had scored.

It was to be the best chance to win the game, even as Murdocca sent a scare through Central Coast late on with a ferocious half volley that whizzed over the crossbar.

In the end both sides shared the spoils, and the defending champions happy to steal a point from Melbourne Heart.

 MATCH STATS

Crowd: 8,734

Melbourne Heart FC:

1. Andrew Redmayne (gk), 3. Robbie Wielart (c), 7. Iain Ramsay, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 14. Golgol Mebrahtu, 15. David Williams, 16. Aziz Behich, 17. Jason Hoffman, 23. Mate Dugandzic, 24. Patrick Kisnorbo, 25. Andrea Migliorini (6. Patrick Gerhardt +75′)

Substitutes not used: 19. Benjamin Garuccio, 20. Tando Velaphi (rgk), 21. Stefan Mauk, 22. Nicholas Kalmar

Coach: John Aloisi

Yellow Cards: Williams 76′, Kisnorbo 80′

Red Cards: Nil

Central Coast Mariners FC:

1. Justin Pasfield (gk), 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Marcel Seip, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Nick Montgomery, 9. Mitchell Duke, 10. Marcos Flores, 11. Nick Fitzgerald (14. Michael McGlinchey + 60′), 15. Storm Roux, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 21. Mile Sterjovski (19. Matt Simon + 60′)

Substitutes not used: 5. Zachary Anderson, 12. Liam Reddy (rgk), 17. Anthony Caceres

Coach: Graham Arnold

Yellow Cards: Matt Simon 90+1′

Red Cards: Nil

Ratings:

Referee: Ben Williams 8/10

Assistants: George Lakrindis, Jonathan Barreiro, 4th Official: Alex Azcurra

Pitch Rating: 9/10

Game Rating: 7/10

BOTN Player Points:

3. David Williams (MHT)
2. Marcos Flores (CCM)
1. Justin Pasfield (CCM)

By Tomasz Ng