Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Paul Izzo feels believes the red card to Liam Rose was the key factor in his side’s F3 Derby stalemate against Newcastle Jets on Sunday.
The Mariners dominated the first 45 minutes at McDonald Jones Stadium and deservedly led 1-0 at the break before things turned in the second half.
First Morten Nordstrand equalised for the hosts before Rose – playing in central defence for the first time in the Hyundai A-League – was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Instead of being able to push for a win, the Mariners had to soak up a ton of pressure in the last 20 minutes to escape with a point.
“It was unfortunate Liam got sent off. It’s been a week like that where decisions have been going all over the shop,” Izzo told Fox Sports.
“That had a big impact on us because we wanted to keep the ball and kill the game off ourselves.
“Once again we put ourselves on the back foot and we just had to fight it out.”
Defender Jake McGing played a key role at both ends for the Mariners.
First he scored their goal with a good finish at the far post from a free-kick, before producing a late goal-line clearance as the Jets stormed home.
And Izzo also played his part in ensuring parity for his side, making a string of excellent saves in the second half in front of more than 11,000 fans.
“We’re disappointed not to get the full three points but this scenario that we were given [the red card] shows great character,” the gloveman said.
“We were able to stick together as a team and grind out the result.
“It was a fantastic derby,” Izzo added.
“Truth be told it’s been a bit dead the last few years but today there was quite a buzz and it was really impressive.”
The Mariners have to pick themselves up quickly with a home match against Perth Glory to kick-off round 8 on Thursday night.