Central Coast Mariners’ search for their first Hyundai A-League win of the season goes on when they host Melbourne City on Wednesday evening.
The Mariners looked on track for a breakthrough triumph in Wellington on Saturday after taking a 2-0 lead into the half time break.
But a red card to Kye Rowles just after play resumed proved costly, with the resultant penalty scored by Roy Krishna, who inspired the Phoenix to a 3-2 victory.
The Mariners have made a habit of starting games well in recent times, having taken the lead in three of their last four matches.
Central Coast have lost all of those, though, with a 10-game losing streak frustrating the club’s supporters.
In this clash that belatedly ends Round 12, they face a Melbourne City side who are unbeaten in five, with four of them ending in victory.
Sporting a makeshift forward line in the continued absence of Bruno Fornaroli, City have found other avenues to goal, while the brilliance of goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic and midfielder Riley McGree has also stood out.
As a result, City lies fourth on the table and they will be determined to go one better on their previous trip to Gosford.
On that occasion - back in October - City needed a late leveller from Dario Vidosic to get a point in a 1-1 draw.
That was the last match Central Coast were not beaten in but Ross McCormack - the ex-City forward who scored for the Mariners that day - is no longer at the club.
Central Coast have not won any of their last five home fixtures against City.
Key Opta stats
- Central Coast Mariners are winless in their last 10 Hyundai A-League encounters with Melbourne City (D3, L7), but have scored in all but two of these fixtures.
- Melbourne City have not tasted defeat in their last five games against the Mariners at Central Coast Stadium (W2, D3), scoring a goal in each half on all but one occasion.
- Mike Mulvery’s side have lost their last four games at Central Coast Stadium; they have never previously lost five consecutive games at the venue.
- The Mariners have made just 17 touches in the opposition box per game this season, fewer than any other team in the Hyundai A-League.
Ins and outs
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 2.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITS, 3.Jack CLISBY, 4.Jake McGING, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Michael McGLINCHEY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 13.Aiden O’NEILL, 16.Josh MACDONALD, 18.Matt MILLAR, 19.Matt SIMON (c), 22.Jacob MELLING, 23.Mario SHABOW, 25.Jordan MURRAY, 26.Joshua NISBET **two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Aiden O’NEILL (return from suspension), 16.Josh MACDONALD (promoted), 26.Joshua NISBET (promoted)
Outs: 15.Kye ROWLES (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 21.Corey GAMEIRO (calf)
Melbourne City FC squad: 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 34.Connor METCALFE, 36.Dylan PIERIAS, 40.James DELIANOV **two to be omitted**
Ins: 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (returns from injury), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted), 36.Dylan PIERIAS (promoted)
Outs: 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE (suspended – 1 week)
How to watch
Tune in on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:50pm AEDT or you can or stream the match on the MyFootball Live App, which is live, fast and data-free for Telstra mobile customers.
Be there as the Mariners battle City. Get your ticket here.
Round 12: Central Coast Mariners v Melbourne City