Last-gasp goal salvages point for Mariners
By Agron Dauti:
Hyundai A-League Season 10 – 2014/15 – Round 6
5:00 pm, Sunday 16 November 2014 – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne City FC 2
(Mate Dugandzic 10’, Erik Paartalu 53’)
Central Coast Mariners 2
(Glen Trifiro 80’, John Hutchinson 90’+4)
The Central Coast Mariners have escaped from AAMI Park with a hard-fought point after clawing back from a two-goal deficit to draw with Melbourne City courtesy of a last-gasp John Hutchinson equaliser.
With full-time rapidly approaching and Central Coast staring down the barrel of a fourth consecutive defeat, it was up to captain John Hutchinson so salvage a solitary point with a brilliant strike from outside the box that sent the visitors into raptures.
It was Melbourne who would get the opener with Mate Dugandzic latching on to the end of a brilliant cross from Iain Ramsey and heading the ball past Mariners’ goalkeeper Liam Reddy in the 10th minute.
A City turnover would allow Central Coast’s Nick Fitzgerald to fire off a low, powerful shot on goal in the 14th minute but strong goalkeeping from Andrew Redmayne kept the ball from going into the back of the net.
The home side had a number of chances on goal but was unable to take advantage of a lackluster Central Coast and increase its lead after a positive start, heading into the main break with a one-goal lead.
Phil Moss’ side emerged from half time firing and looking to pull one back but it was City stopper Redmayne who was able to deny the visitors yet again.
Good lead-up work and a brilliant cross from City’s Damien Duff would result in an Erik Paartalu goal as the home side doubled its lead and heaped the pressure on Central Coast.
In the 70th minute, Liam Reddy prevented what would have been a certain goal for Marc Marino – the substitute hitting the ball to the centre of goal from close range and forcing Reddy to leap into action and deny City a third goal.
Although looking underwhelming and seemingly frustrated at times, the visitors were able to hold on and nab a goal in the 80th minute, with Glen Trifiro striking truly from a free-kick to grab his first of the season – his beautifully-struck effort curling past the reach of Andrew Redmayne into the top-left corner to make it 2-1.
With renewed hopes of a comeback, the Mariners and their ‘never say die’ attitude began their fight to avoid a fourth straight loss in a tense final few minutes. With the game clock into the final seconds, and the home crowd willing Melbourne City to hold onto its one-goal advantage, the AAMI Park cheers morphed into a stunned silence as Mariners skipper Hutchinson launched from outside the box with a final roll of the dice and beating Andrew Redmayne to deny City back-to-back victories.
The result puts pressure on John van’t Schip’s side to get back on the winners’ list when City welcome Sydney FC to AAMI Park on Saturday 22 November with kick-off scheduled for 7:30 pm (AEST).
Melbourne City FC
Player listing: 1.Andrew Redmayne (GK), 3.Robbie Wielaert, 5.Erik Paartalu, 28.Liam Miller, 7.Iain Ramsay, 25 Jacob Melling (18.Paulo Retre 85’), 11.Damien Duff, 15.David Williams (26.Marc Marino 63’), 17.Jason Hoffman, 23.Mate Dugandzic (14.James Brown 75’), 24.Patrick Kisnorbo (Captain)
Substitutes not used: 20.Tando Velaphi (GK), 27.Ross Archibald
Coach: John van’t Schip
Yellow Cards: D. Duff 72’, J. Melling 78’
Red Cards: Nil
Central Coast Mariners FC
Player listing: 12. Liam Reddy (GK), 3.Josh Rose, 4.Jacob Poscoliero, 5.Zac Anderson, 7.John Hutchinson (Captain), 8.Nick Montgomery (18.Glen Trifiro 62’), 9.Mitchell Duke (23.Isaka Cernak 78’), 10.Anthony Caceres, 11.Nick Fitzgerald, 15.Matt Sim (17.Richárd Vernes 67’), 21.Michael Neill
Substitutes not used: 1.Matt Nash (GK), 25.Eddy Bosnar
Coach: Phil Moss
Yellow Cards: N. Fitzgerald 57’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Adam Fielding 8/10
Assistants: Luke Brennan, Jonathan Barreiro; 4th official: Patrick Chaplin
BOTN Player Points:
- D. Duff (Melbourne City)
- M. Dugandzic (Melbourne City)
- G. Trifiro (Central Coast Mariners)
Pitch rating: 10/10
Game rating: 9/10
By Agron Dauti