An early goal to lively winger Connor Pain was enough for Central Coast Mariners to claim a 1-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix in a pre-season match at Pluim Park on Tuesday night.
STORY OF THE GAME
►Import Asdrubal earned his first start for the Mariners, while compatriot Alan Baro skippered the team.
►The midfield trio of Daniel De Silva, Wout Brama and Tom Hiariej impressed for Paul Okon's side.
►The Mariners took the lead after just seven minutes. While both sides created a host of excellent chances, neither was able to take their opportunities for the rest of the night.
7’ PAIN (1-0): What a start it was by the Central Coast Mariners when the attacking trio of Asdrubal, De Silva and Pain combined.
When the ball found the feet of Pain, the dangerous right winger still had plenty to do. With little hesitation, Pain steadied himself before firing a bullet into Italiano’s bottom corner.
OKON IMPRESSED BY HIS SIDE
“I thought the performance was excellent, we were really energetic when we didn’t have the ball and that’s an area we talk about a lot," the Mariners boss said.
"With the ball, I think we created enough opportunities to score more than one but at the end we come away getting important minutes into the legs and no injuries.
“There’s competition everywhere. For me it’s not a problem, it’s what we need. If we have that competition than we know we’re going to be a strong team and it’s about winning football games so we need everyone to play their part.
“Last season when teams muscled up on us we struggled to go with them and now with Tom Hiariej and Wout Brama, they give us that steel in the midfield. Everyone else feeds off that which really helps."
Central Coast Mariners: 18.Tom GLOVER (GK) (1.Ben Kennedy 45’), 5.Antony GOLEC, 15.Alan BARO, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 13.Kwabena APPIAH (12. Trent Buhagiar 74’), 11.Connor PAIN, 21.Kye ROWLES (2. Storm Roux 61’) 4.Jake McGING (16. Liam Rose, 61’), 10.Daniel De SILVA (7. Andrew Hoole, 61’), 23.Wout BRAMA (14. Adam Berry 74’), 9.ASDRUBAL (17. Josh Bingham 45’)
Head Coach: Paul Okon
Wellington Phoenix: 20. Lewis ITALIANO (30. Oli Sail 45’), 2. Daniel MULLEN, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 7.Gui FINKLER( 14. Alex Rufer 81’), 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 11. Hamish WATSON (9. Andrija Kaludjerovic 61’) 18.Sarpreet SINGH (13. Marco Rossi 73’) 19.Tom DOYLE (15. James McGarry 73’), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (17. Ali Abbas 73’
Head Coach: Darije Kalezić