A-League holders Central Coast Mariners got their season back on track with a somewhat fortunate 1-0 home win against bottom of the table Wellington Phoenix thanks to a Storm Roux goal before Stijn Huysegems had a Penalty saved for Wellington early in the second half.
The Mariners took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute when Mile Sterjovski bended in a low cross which Ben Sigmund failed to clear properly and Storm Roux was there to slot in the opener.
Wellington were the better side before that goal however, their first chance should have resulted in the deadlock being broken when Albert Riera (not the ex Liverpool player) played a nice little ball into Stijn Huysegems who had a nice first touch but his shot was straight at the Goalkeeper who saved with his feet. Glen Moss’ gloves were warmed in the 22nd minute when a curling free kick from Jeremy Brockie was palmed out by the Mariners keeper to his left.
Central Coast improved after the goal and just past the half hour mark Chico Flores played a neat through ball to ex Newcastle striker Daniel McBreen but his powerful low shot was tipped wide.
Phoenix were not prepared to lie down though and they had another decent chance when Jason Hicks was played in but Moss was there to save with his feet again.
The second half started in dramatic fashion with the away side being awarded a Penalty in the first five minutes. Jason Hicks played a through ball in the direction of Manny Muscat but before the rampaging full back could reach the ball he was tripped by goalscorer Roux. A largely wasteful Huysegems was foiled again as his spot kick was brilliantly saved out for a corner.
Both Goalkeepers were playing fantastically in this game and Glenn Moss made another top save when Nick Fitzgerald’s fierce volley was somehow palmed away by Moss and over the bar.
Wellington Phoenix had another penalty claim after an hour when Louis Fenton went down in the area, a whistle even went, not from the Referee though but a troublemaker in the crowd. No Penalty. Not much contact on Fenton.
The Phoenix were incredibly unlucky not to leave this game with at least a point, creating another superb chance for themselves when substitute Paul Ifil drilled in a low shot from a tight angle which Moss saved but the ball ended up at the feet of Kenny Cunnigham 4 yards out and with the goal gaping, hit the ball into his own foot and Central Coast recovered.
Huysegems wasted another chance for Wellington with 10 minutes remaining. Another substitute, this time Tyler Boyd, whipped in a cross from the left that the Mariners failed to clear and from point blank range, Huysegems hit a shot straight at Liam Reddy.
Into the latter stages of the game there was a contender for miss of the season, a surging run down the left by former Crystal Palace man Ifil again led to a low squared ball and in acres of space 6 yards out Brockie slid in to surely make it a deserved 1-1 scoreline but instead it flew over the bar. Everyone in disbelief and it wasn’t to be Wellington’s day.
Central Coast Mariners fortunate to escape with three points from Today’s game against A-League’s bottom club and the hosts look far from defending Champions, they are up to 4th though.
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