Six goals of drama in Geelong

By Chris Dunkerley:

Hyundai A-League – Season 11 – 2015/2016 – Round 14
7:40pm, Friday 8 January, 2016 – Kardinia Park, Geelong

Central Coast Mariners FC 3 (Harry Ascroft 12′, Joshua Bigham 30′, Mitchell Austin ‘)
drew with
Melbourne Victory FC  3 (Besart Berisha 60′ pen, 90’+2, Archie Thompson 66′)

It was a game of drama in Geelong last night, where the cash strapped Mariners had sold a home  tie for arguably a mess of pottage (aka $100K) and hosted the Melbourne Victory FC side and about 14,000 away fans. That wasn’t the drama though .. it was all on the oval Kardinia Park pitch.

The old chestnut of a game of two halves was well and truly roasted, as the Coast raced to a 3-0 lead over the reigning Champions by just over a third of the game gone. Then cracked open and savored by the Victorians as Victory came back, and squared the ledger in the 2nd half stoppage time.

In the 12th minute the Coast grabbed the lead as defender Harry Ascroft lept and swiveled to steer the ball forward into the net from a well taken corner by Fabio Ferriera. 1-0

A fine finish by tyro striker Josh Bingham to double the lead, on his first start (and indeed his second goal in the Hyundai A-League). From a Ferreira through ball Bingham raced clear but as he was tracked he hit his shot low and hard across Victory ‘keeper Danny Vukovic in the 30th minute. Again the scorer raced to take the adulation of the small knot of ‘home’ fans stuck in the corner. 2-0

The Mariners third goal of the night came in the 35th minute, coming from speedster Mitch Austin. This time Bingham was creator after receiving from Ferriera, and threaded the needle from just inside his own half allowing Austin to streak free and thus time to place his shot past Vukovic with his favored left peg. 3-0

The Victory came out with wicked intent in the second half, but were shooting blanks to begin with. Indeed Austin might have extended the lead if his shooting remained as clinical.

In the 60th minute the came swung the Victorian sides way.  Ascroft was judged to have fouled with an odd leap across the attacker in the area, picking up a yellow card but worse allowing Besart Berisha a penalty take, from which he rarely misses despite Mariners gloveman Thomas Heward-Belle picking the correct side. 3-1

Luck and pluck was with the Victory in the 66th minute when Kosta Barbarouses shot from distance, but his effort rebounded off the crossbar, only for super sub Archie Thompson to pounce and slot it home. 3-2

Two minutes into the four of stoppage time saw Berisha on the spot after some scrambling play to send a glancing header down and past the ‘keeper. 3-3

Heart wrenching for Mariners fans, but due reward for the Victory after getting their act together.

Match details

Crowd:  14,268

Central Coast Mariners FC: 40. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (gk); 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 22. Jake McGING, 5. Harry ASCROFT, 3. Joshua ROSE; 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (c) 7. Fabio FERREIRA (23. Tomislav USKOK +90′), 2. Storm ROUX,  7. Mitchell AUSTIN (17. Francesco STELLA +79’), 19. Josh BINGHAM (16. Liam ROSE +70′)
Subs Not Used: 13. Alastair BRAY (rgk), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 21.Michael NEILL

Yellow Cards: Jacob Poscoliero 53’, Harry Ascroft 60’, Nick Montgomery 68’, Storm Roux 87’; Red Cards: Nil
Coach: Tony Walmsley

Melbourne Victory FC:  1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 5. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER (Archie Thompson +62′), 8. Besart BERISHA, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 13.Oliver BOZANIC (4.Nick ANSELL +62′), 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH (23. Jai INGHAM +77′), 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 17. Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18. Dylan MURNANE
Subs Not Used:  20. Lawrence THOMAS (rgk)

Yellow Cards: Ben Khalfallah 52’,  Georgievski 68’  ; Red Cards:
Coach:  Kevin Muscat

Referee:  Peter Green
Assistant Referees 1: Luke Brennan, Wilson Brown; Fourth Official: Lucien Laverdure

Ratings and points

Player points:
3. Nick Montgomery (CCM)
2. Kosta Barbarouses (MV)
1. Mitchell Austin (CCM)

Match   8/10
Pitch   7/10
Referee  7/10

By Chris Dunkerley