Mariners: We're staying on the Coast
Mariners coach Phil Moss has re-affirmed the club's commitment to the Central Coast despite a strong turnout for their debut performance at North Sydney Oval.
Mariners coach Phil Moss has re-affirmed the club's commitment to the Central Coast despite a strong turnout for their debut performance at North Sydney Oval on Thursday.
A respectable crowd of 6755 filed into the historic old ground to watch the first A-League game played there, the Mariners marking a memorable occasion with a 1-0 win over luckless Wellington.
The roll-up delighted Central Coast officials, whose calls for big support at Gosford have often fallen on deaf ears in the past.
The club has made no secret of its desire to spread its fan base into the northern reaches of Sydney and plan to play further games at North Sydney Oval.
But Moss allayed fears the club may relocate in the future, although home attendances continue to be a concern.
"We've got a fantastic supporter base on the Central Coast. They get behind us but there's probably needs to be a little more voting with their feet," the coach said.
"The turnstiles ticking over at Bluetongue (Stadium) will make the North Sydney talk minimal.
"But we've got a lot of supporters in the northern suburbs of Sydney so it's good to come down and expand and show that we care.
"This has been a great exercise tonight but Bluetongue is our fortress and that's where we like to play."
Those fans that did make the journey to North Sydney saw a stuttering performance from the hosts.
A first A-League goal to Storm Roux settled the issue, but the Mariners were helped by another wasteful performance from Phoenix in front of goal.
The Kiwis missed a penalty and several gilt-edged chances, while Mariners keeper Liam Reddy saved his team on more than one occasion.
Reddy was coming off a last-up shocker, gifting Adelaide at least one goal in a 4-0 thrashing, but earned some redemption.
"He copped a bit on the weekend with the mistake down in Adelaide and I thought he showed some real mental toughness to come back and put in a performance like that," Moss said.
The win delivered Central Coast fourth spot, although Moss was the first to admit it wasn't the greatest of performances.
He said: "We gave away too much cheap ball and need to take a lot more pride in what we do with the ball.
"But coming off a bad result down in Adelaide, I think it showed a lot of mental strength to find a way to win.
"The key is we're picking up points while we're trying to find that consistency and rhythm."