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Mariners and Heart play out stalemate

CCMvMHTThe Central Coast Mariners were held goalless by bottom-of-the-table Heart, but it is the Melbourne side who will be more disappointed at not taking all three points.

The Mariners were unable to send off Michael McGlinchey before his move to J.League club Vegalta Sendai due to illness and, with Marcos Flores tearing his ACL in training mid-week, it was Nick Fitzgerald elevated into the starting line-up.

John van’t Schip also made a surprise change in his first match back in charge, starting Ramsay ahead of David Williams, benched for the first time this season.

Despite leaving their leading goal-scorer among the substitutes, Heart were positive and showed intent through early strikes from Ramsay and Kewell.

Indeed, it looked like the Melbourne side would take a shock lead in the 14th minute when a Kewell flick-on put Mifsud through against Reddy but his effort hit the post. Ramsay then spurned a great chance to open the scoring four minutes later when he put a Dugandzic cross well over.

Storm Roux had a rare chance for the Mariners when he was allowed time and space but his shot from outside the box was easily gathered by Redmayne.

The Heart looked the more likely to score but struggled to work Reddy, with Kalmar’s 31st minute long range effort safely claimed by the Central Coast ‘keeper. Melbourne had another chance on the stroke of half time when a Kewell ball made its way to Mifsud close to goal, but the Maltese player’s poor first touch took the chance away from him.

The visiting side continued to look the more dangerous early in the second half, with Gerhardt and Dugandzic causing panic in the Mariners’ defence before Mifsud’s deflected shot forced Reddy into a low save.

The Mariners slowly began making their way into the contest and Redmayne bravely came out in the 60th minute to deny McBreen a shot on goal, getting an elbow to the head for his troubles. Central Coast went closer minutes later when Montgomery’s headed effort went agonisingly wide of the post.

The introduction of Matthew Simon almost paid immediate dividends in the 67th minute when his pass inside the box found an open Rose, but the left-back missed the easiest of chances by blasting what should have been a simple tap-in well over the bar.

Williams replaced Dugandzic and Caceres came on for Montgomery, but there was no injection of pace into the game with both sides failing to create any more legitimate chances in the final third.

About the author

avatarJulian is a freelance writer and editor, film festival programmer, and serial podcaster.

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