Football 4 years ago

Mariners show heart in late City draw

  • Mariners show heart in late City draw
  • Mariners show heart in late City draw

Today, robbers wear yellow and navy.

The going is tough and the finishing sparse in Gosford, but the Central Coast Mariners still have a shedload of heart after coming from behind to secure a draw against Melbourne City at AAMI Park.

John Hutchinson sizzled a 25-yard drive into the bottom left corner in the final minute of stoppage time in what was an inspiring final quarter hour from the visitors.

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The club captain needed no second invitation, latching on to Glen Trifiro's lay-off in the 93rd minute and lashing home to raucus celebrations from the bench and the travelling faithful.

The 2-2 draw ensured Phil Moss' teams ended their goal-less run of 338 A-League minutes, but also earned the 2012/13 champions their first point since opening day.

A midweek 3-2 loss in the FFA Cup gave Mariners fans a sniff of what was possible if the club found their feet, and despite some late heroics it was another performance highlighted by rousing periods of purpose and positive signs, but lacking a finished product.

FIFA don't recognise positive signs; if they did the Socceroos would surely lie in the top 10 of the world rankings, and despite the gaffe regarding Qatar 2022, the game's governing body do get a lot of things right.

Fans will celebrate tonight like a victory, but tomorrow the hard truth is the club still sit outside the top six and will need to find a spark to contest in a fifth consecutive finals series.

It was Trifiro who earlier spared the blushes of another duck egg next to the Mariners name, but headers from Mate Dugandzic and Eric Paartalu either side of the interval threatened to derail the yellow and navy. 

Iain Ramsey provided the cross for the first, guiding the ball into the middle from the far touchline where a diving Dugandzic beat promoted Zac Anderson to nod home at Liam Reddy's far post after 10 minutes. 

Paartalu doubled the advantage minutes after the break, leaping highest to a Damian Duff cross to score reminiscent to his heart-breaking equaliser in extra time of the 2010/11 Grand Final for Brisbane.

With 10 minutes remaining, Trifiro stepped up to a dead ball and was awarded a re-take after firing into the encroaching James Brown. This time slightly close and with Andrew Redmayne positioned questionably, 'Tricky' lofted the ball over the wall and past the outstreched arms of Redmayne into the net, giving the Coast an unlikely look-in.

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