Mariners extend Sky Blues’ winless start

Central Coast Mariners have claimed a 2-0 victory over Sydney FC, extending the Sky Blues’ winless start to the Isuzu UTE A-League season.

In front of a crowd of 6037 at Gosford Stadium, the Mariners secured the three points courtesy of a two-minute first-half blitz. 

Marco Urena opened the scoring in the 14th minute, before Sydney midfielder Anthony Caceres bundled the ball into the back of his own net.

The defeat leaves last year’s grand finalists with just two draws to show from their opening four games and Steve Corica’s side, who have scored just once from open play, struggled to find a way through the resolute Mariners defence.

Corica brought Bobo into his starting XI after the Brazilian striker had missed the first three league games of the season with a calf injury.

Rhyan Grant remained absent following last week’s COVID-19 diagnosis and the Sky Blues were also without Kosta Barbarouses (fractured fibula).

The Mariners were out of the starting blocks in impressive fashion and left the Sky Blues in their wake.

In an electric 10-minute spell to begin the game, Oliver Bozanic and Cy Goddard tested goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne from distance before Urena gave the home side the breakthrough.

After right-back Harry Van Der Saag was dispossessed by Bozanic, Moresche was able to drive forward down the left flank and fed Urena in the box.

The Costa Rican took one touch and was able to slot a cool finish beyond Redmayne.

Barely two minutes had passed from Urena’s celebrations before Central Coast doubled their lead.

Moresche was again involved again as he picked the ball up in midfield and spread a wide pass to Lewis Miller who bombed forward.

The Mariners right back went to the byline and delivered a pinpoint pass to Moresche who rushed into the six-yard box.

The Brazilian was beaten to the ball by Caceres but it made little difference to the Mariners as the Sky Blues midfielder pushed the ball into the back of his own net.

Sydney were all at sea and it wasn’t until the 25th minute that they mustered a shot on target with Adam Le Fondre hitting the woodwork.

Corica made a triple substitution after the break as he brought Elvis Kamsoba, Trent Buhagiar and Patrick Yazbek on for Bobo, Milos Ninkovic and Max Burgess.

All three substitues failed to offer a point of difference and the Sydney boss sent on Patrick Wood in place of Le Fondre a quarter of an hour later.

The shake-up clearly didn’t work and the Mariners centre-back pairing of Dan Hall and Kye Rowles dealt with most of Sydney’s forays with ease.