Mariners clinch 3-2 win in Canberra friendly

Goals to Mitch Austin, Matt Sim and trialist Tom Bentham guided the Central Coast Mariners to a 3-2 win in Canberra over Capital Football PS4 NPL side Canberra Olympic on Tuesday night.

The Hyundai A-League first team has been strategically split up across two squads to feature separately in both tonight’s match against Canberra Olympic and Thursday night’s match against Gungahlin United.

Trialists and Foxtel National Youth League players have also travelled with the squad, allowing Head Coach Tony Walmsley a chance to see his prospects and younger players in real game situations.

Tom McLachlan was the danger man for Olympic in the first half who delivered their best chance in the opening stages with a powerful shot that drew Paul Izzo into an incredible save towards the top corner.

Olympic put in a solid performance in front of their home fans against a Mariners side that was resting 11 contracted Hyundai A-League players with special mention going to Robbie Cattanach who bagged himself a second half double.

Adelson was unlucky not to feature on the score sheet with a header in the 78th minute of play to go with his two assists on the night.

GOALS:

2’ AUSTIN: A mix-up in the backline allowed the lightning quick Mitch Austin an opportunity to round the keeper with ease and open the scoring just two minutes in.

4’ BENTHAM: Adelson broke down the right hand side and landed a precision cross on the head of trialist Tom Bentham who headed into an open net to double the Mariners lead within the first five minutes. Adelson was very impressive down the right flank for the best part of 90 minutes. 

49’ SIM: It was Adelson again who acted as the creator with some impressive build up play on the right wing. Olympic’s defence were unable to adjust and Matt Sim pounced on the opportunity to make it 3-0 from just inside the box.

69’ CATTANACH: Robbie Cattanach found himself in the right place at the right time to put the home team on the score sheet with just over twenty minutes remaining. Izzo made a close range save and Cattanach was on hand to follow up with a simple finish.

90’ CATTANACH: It was too little too late for Olympic as Cattanach banged in his second of the night from point blank just before the full time whistle.

Walmsley’s Words:

“It was the type of performance we expected, we’re in the middle of a camp and there are some trialists playing so it was a little bit disjointed but there were certainly some healthy shifts put in.”

“We’ve rested 11 players today, so those 11 will start and hopefully see out the 90 minutes on Thursday night.”

“The trialists have come into camp which is a new environment for them and they put in a good shift tonight so we will review the video and have a closer look at if they can offer us what we need.”

“The boys are working twice a day, every day including the games so there is no let up for them at the moment.

“On Thursday we are going to start with three at the back and see how the players adapt. Tonight’s focus was on the wingers so if you look at Jake Adelson and Mitch Austin, regardless of what else happened in the game, those two guys did some really good things.”

“Thursday in attack we will pay with two up front instead of one and we will see how Roy [O’Donovan] teams up with Josh Bingham so there will be a focus on the two central strikers.”

“Credit to Canberra, they were great tonight.”

Canberra Olympic 2 (Cattanach 69’ & 90’)
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Austin 2’, Bentham 4’, Sim 49’)
Gungahlin Enclosed, Canberra

Central Coast Mariners squad v Canberra Olympic: Paul Izzo (gk), Storm Roux, Michael Cvetkovski (trialist), Shane Murray (trialist), Mitch Austin, Matt Sim, Tom Bentham (trialist), Jake Adelson, Lee Jones (trialist), Adam Berry (trialist), Mickey Neill, Eddy Bosnar