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McGlinchey, Burns lead Phoenix to victory

Wellington Phoenix took all three points in Gosford as they defeated Central Coast 2-1 courtesy of goals from Nathan Burns and former Mariners player Michael McGlinchey in an entertaining encounter on Saturday afternoon.

There was just the one change to the Mariners side that beat Newcastle in extra-time last week, with Jacob Poscoliero making his debut in place of Zachary Anderson. Meanwhile, Wellington fielded an unchanged lineup despite a 2-1 loss to Perth Glory last week, as McGlinchey started against his old side.

With Central Coast coming into the match on the back of two wins — including a 5-1 victory over Palm Beach mid-week — it was the visitors who enjoyed a strong start as Muscat pushed forward early to shoot over, before Brockie tried to chip Reddy who was well off his line, but the forward’s shot flew tamely into the keeper’s gloves.

The opportunity sparked the Mariners into life and, in their first attack of note, they opened the scoring via a Tom Doyle own-goal. Kim’s through ball to Sim in the 12th minute looked well covered by the Phoenix defence but Doyle inexplicably poked the ball past Glen Moss into his own net to hand Central Coast the lead.

The hosts continued to press and Moss had to be alert to palm Duke’s stinging drive away from goal.

Still, Wellington were dangerous on the break and the visitors looked to have found an equaliser in the 30th minute when Bonevacia collected a cool Brockie cut-back — but his goal-bound strike was deflected away by Bosnar.

Nevertheless, the visitors were level four minutes later through fortuitous circumstances. Brockie looked to be offside when he was played through on goal, yet the assistant’s flag stayed down and debutante Poscoliero’s clumsy challenge inside the box left referee Ben Williams no choice but to award the penalty.

Match Details Full match details »

Central Coast

Own Goal12′ T.DoyleYellow Card35′ J.PoscolieroYellow Card48′ S.RouxYellow Card90′ L.Reddy

Wellington

Goal35′ M.McGlincheyGoal53′ N.Burns

Brockie’s resulting spot-kick crashed into the crossbar and the opportunity seemed lost, only for McGlinchey to head in the rebound to make it 1-1 at half time.

The Mariners hoped to regroup at the break but it was Wellington who started the second half stronger, and they soon found the lead in the 53rd minute.

McGlinchey was again involved as his back-heel released Doyle on the left, whose inch-perfect cross to the far post was headed back by Brockie, and Burns followed in to smash the ball home from point-blank range.

Central Coast looked desperately short of ideas as they struggled to find any cohesion, limited to long range efforts.

The Mariners’ coach was clearly unhappy with what he was seeing, sending on Fitzgerald for the ineffective Mane in the 70th minute. It proved an adroit substitution as the youngster immediately launched himself forward, flying past his marker and connecting with Sim’s precise cross only to see his effort cannon off the post.

Moments later, Glen Moss pulled out a stunning save to deny Trifiro when he was played through on goal, before Sim’s curled effort flew just wide of the post as the Mariners pushed for an equaliser.

Central Coast continued to press for the rest of the match, but Wellington hung on to claim all three points and their first win of the season.

About the author

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

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