Moss: Mariners late-show testament to ticker

Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss has praised his side’s character after snatching a dramatic 1-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets in a willing F3 Derby on Saturday.

It wasn’t pretty for the Mariners but they still claimed the three points thanks to a Mitchell Duke goal in extra time.

“I’ve never seen a 100 percent performance in Round 1 of a season – Melbourne Victory had a good performance last night and a fantastic win – but Round 1 is about getting through and finding a way to win the game and we did that,” Moss said after the game.

“It’s a derby and you don’t expect it to be an open affair. It was a tight game and it was physical, in the middle of the park particularly, and I thought both teams had their chances to win the game today.

“But I’m just obviously happy we won the game and kept the belief until the 94th minute to grab a goal.

“I always thought in the last five minutes there’d be one big chance, maybe at either end, but luckily for us it was at our end and I thought Dukey showed a lot of composure to finish the way he did from that free-kick, it was a great finish.”

Moss added of new import Malick Mane’s first regular-season outing for the Gosford club: “I specifically went out looking for a player who I could add to the squad that would excite the fans and I think Malick showed glimpses in the first half of what he’s about.

“A couple of times he just needed that half a yard to get his shot away or maybe lay off the final pass.

“But I’ll never have a go at him for being a little bit selfish in front of goal because all good strikers are and a little bit more luck today and he could have got himself on the scoresheet.”