Sunday, November 25, 2012
Mariners end Roar hoodoo in Gosford
Central Coast finally ended one of the A-League's longest hoodoos when they defeated arch-rivals Brisbane 2-1 at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.Two-time champions Roar had previously not lost a game in 13 starts in seven seasons at the venue.The Mariners' winner, which extended their unbeaten streak to five, came in deserved fashion in the 81st minute when Tomas Rogic volleyed home after Michael McGlinchey had cleverly kept in a Oliver Bozanic free kick.Young gun Rogic constantly terrorised the Brisbane defence and was clearly the best player on the park until he was replaced in the 87th minute.Mariner Bernie Ibini's header in just the fourth minute had been cancelled out by a rare Massimo Murdocca strike in the 32nd minute before a crowd of 9,084.On a day that temperatures reached into the low 30s the Mariners started the game in blistering fashion when Ibini scored from a pinpoint cross from Pedj Bojic.After Rogic had prized apart the Brisbane defence further upfield, Bojic sent a lovely cross from the right of the box to Ibini to head in from the left for his second goal of the season.It looked like the goal might be a double whammy for the visitors as captain Matt Smith went down with a leg injury in the lead-up. But he slowly recovered to resume his place in the Brisbane defence.With conditions better suited to the Roar they were enjoying the majority of possession but it was the Mariners who were pressing the issue most.And they almost went two goals ahead when Rogic hit the woodwork in the 19th minute from a Joshua Rose cross.With the Mariners looking for their third home win in as many starts it was the visitors who scored next to tie things up 1-1 in the 32nd minute.A short corner taken from Thomas Broich caught the Mariners napping as Murdocca lined up a sweet strike from three metres outside the box to beat goalkeeper Matt Ryan for just his third goal since the start of the A-League.The game then threatened to explode two minutes later with Besart Berisha at the heart of the drama.The Roar striker executed a clumsy late challenge on John Hutchinson, then when the Mariners captain reacted, Berisha launched what appeared to be an attempted headbutt as a scuffle between the two teams ensued.Berisha was lucky to stay on the field, given a yellow card by referee Chris Beath. Daniel McBreen, who rushed in to back up his captain, was also shown yellow.In the testing conditions the game settled down after that until the latter stages when Matthew Jurman (80th), Hutchinson (87) and Mitch Nicholls (90) were all yellow carded.