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Hutchinson snatches late draw for Central Coast

Central Coast came from two goals behind to draw 2-2 with Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon. Glen Trifiro’s free-kick goal and John Hutchinson’s last-gasp equaliser helped the visitors to a share of the points after Mate Dugandzic and Eric Paartalu had handed City a 2-0 lead.

After walking away from Brisbane Roar, Liam Miller made the most of his National Team Player Replacement deal with Melbourne City by starting alongside youngster Jacob Melling in place of Paulo Retre and Aaron Mooy. Meanwhile, Phil Moss made a host of changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Perth Glory, with Anderson, Montgomery, Sim and Rose all elevated to the first XI.

Central Coast, coming into the match on the back of three successive defeats including Wednesday’s 3-2 FFA Cup loss to Adelaide United, were hoping to start brightly. Instead, City had the first chance of the match when Jacob Melling fired a shot straight at the Mariners’ ‘keeper.

The visitors failed to heed the warning signs and were soon made to pay in the ninth minute when Mate Dugandzic headed Iain Ramsay’s cross past Liam Reddy to give City the lead.

The Mariners responded swiftly and Nick Fitzgerald, taking advantage of Melling’s turnover in the middle of the park, forced a strong diving save out of Redmayne.

It signalled a period of dominance for the visitors but, despite their control of possession, they struggled to create any genuine opportunities.

City looked dangerous on the break and Melling shot wide before Williams failed to control Hoffman’s whipped cross as the hosts continued to threaten.

Match Details Full match details »

Date/Time Sun Nov 16, 2014, 5:00 PMStadium AAMI ParkAttendance 9,402Referee Adam Fielding

Reddy stretched to tip over David Williams’ bullet strike in the 34th minute before producing a smart reaction save three minutes later to deny Hoffman as City finished the half strongly.

Central Coast looked to regroup at the break and should have equalised a minute into the second half when Duke played Sim through one-on-one, but he could only direct his effort straight at Redmayne.

The Mariners barely had time to reflect on the missed opportunity before they conceded another goal in the 53rd minute. Reddy failed to read Damien Duff’s corner kick, allowing Paartalu to rise and nod home into an empty net to make it 2-0.

Melbourne City went close to extending the advantage just minutes later when Williams was put through on goal, only to flash his drive well over the bar.

Duff continued to stamp his authority on the game as he peppered in several inch-perfect crosses, including a 69th minute ball which found Marino in the box – yet the Mariners’ ‘keeper was quick to close the youngster down.

The hosts continued to push and Melling’s rocket from a set play brought out another impressive save from Reddy.

But it was the Mariners who went one better in the 79th minute. After an initial free-kick was called back due to encroachment, substitute Glen Trifiro produced a superb curling effort from the dead ball which flew past Redmayne to set up a tense finale.

Despite a late flurry of pressure from the visitors, it looked like it was going to be City’s day as the seconds wound down.

But with the final play of the game, Trifiro teed up Hutchinson outside the area and the Mariners’ captain fired home to hand the visitors a share of the points.

About the author

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

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