Ultimate test of character passed as Simon ends Central Coast's 327-day wait

In the hour of Central Coast Mariners’ greatest need, it was only fitting that one of Gosford’s favourite sons stepped up to the plate.

It was the ultimate test of nerve for Matt Simon who, having won a penalty in the dying embers of Central Coast’s clash with Melbourne City on Wednesday night, had the chance to stop the rot.

Simon saw his spot kick saved by Eugene Galekovic, but turned home the rebound at the second time of asking to hand the Mariners their first win of the season – and first Hyundai A-League victory since February 2018.

The Wizard of Woy Woy could hardly have picked a better time to score his 50th Hyundai A-League goal, and says the result could be a game changer for the struggling Mariners.

The football club’s gone on that long without results, but you get that kind of result and it just proves to the boys that you can beat anyone on your day,” Simon told FOX SPORTS after the match.

“It’s all about belief. Winnings a habit.

“We’ve got to take that win and put it into our players’ minds that we can win football games.”

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Simon’s late strike is his 45th for Central Coast, and he becomes just the ninth player to score 50 Hyundai A-League goals.  

The Mariners’ all-time leading goal-scorer has endured a torrid time on his return to Gosford, but revealed heads were held high throughout the club’s long wait to get off the mark.

“The last 12 games have been very tough. It’s a funny one, because every day at training it didn’t feel like we’d never won a game,” he said.

“The camaraderie is great in the group and its nothing short of what we deserve tonight.”

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