Perth make a point against Mariners

Perth Glory has broken their barren run at Bluetongue Stadium but could feel slightly aggrieved that they had to share the spoils against an in-form Central Coast side after creating the best opportunities in their Friday night clash.

Perth Glory has broken their barren run at Bluetongue Stadium but could feel slightly aggrieved that they had to share the spoils against an in-form Central Coast side after creating the best opportunities in their Friday night clash.

Mile Sterjovski-s spectacular effort late in the first half was denied only by the woodwork while Perth created several other positive forward thrusts that tested the Mariners defence.

Just as importantly the Glory-s containment of a potent Central Coast attack, which had scored nine times in their past two matches, was outstanding. The home side hardly testing keeper Tando Velaphi as Perth earned its fifth clean sheet of the campaign.

After being sent home empty handed on six previous trips to Gosford, a new found resilience and belief was evident in Perth-s performance much to the delight of Coach Dave Mitchell.

“I thought we had the better chances overall and could have come away with more than the draw,” Mitchell said.

“I-m still very pleased with the performance and to get any points against the Mariners on their home turf is a great effort.

“To keep a clean sheet against a side that has been banging in goals from all over the place was critical and I thought the defence was superb.”

Andy Todd and Chris Coyne receiving special praise from Mitchell for their leadership in the heart of Glory-s defence. The pair teaming to provide an impenetrable force at the back, heading away any aerial attacks while ground advances were just as effectively dispersed.

“Andy has been superb all season and probably underestimated by a lot of people,” Mitchell said.

“He is a real pro and gives us a focus on the pitch and in the dressing room as well.

“Add to that the great form of Chris Coyne and we have a terrific combination there. The two centre halves have really made a difference to our team.”

The defences of both sides playing the most influential role in the opening half hour with only three shots on goal in that time.

One of those opportunities falling to Glory-s tenacious midfielder Victor Sikora but the Dutchman was unable to direct his shot past Mariners custodian Danny Vukovic after latching onto a great Sterjovski cross.

Perth enjoyed a purple patch to finish the half and was desperately unlucky not to go into the break a goal up after a wonderful snap shot from Sterjovski. The Socceroos star curling a volley around the defence only to agonisingly see it rebound off the upright and cleared to safety.

Not long after the restart Adriano Pellegrino had a chance to put away a rare headed goal when Sterjovski pinpointed the midfielder steaming into the box, however Vukovic was up to the task as he dropped to the ground to stop the ball on the goal line.

Sikora also testing the young keeper, this time the Olyroo having to make a last gasp flick of his boot to ensure the ball to rolled past the outside of the far post.

The Mariners emptied their bench and probed until the final whistle but never really looked likely to break down an impressive Glory side who now return to Perth to tackle Brisbane at ME Bank Stadium on Sunday 6 December.

Hyundai A-League 2009/10 - Rd 16

Central Coast Mariners 0 Perth Glory 0 Friday, 27 November 2009 at Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford

Crowd: 7857 Referee: Gerard Parsons

Central Coast Mariners: 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Matthew CROWELL (22.Nicky TRAVIS 71-), 4.Pedj BOJIC, 5.Brad PORTER, 7.John HUTCHINSON, 8.Dean HEFFERNAN, 9.Nik MRDJA (19.Matt SIMON 54-), 14.Michael McGLINCHEY, 16.Nigel BOOGAARD, 18.Alex WILKINSON (c), 23.Adam KWASNIK (21.Ahmad ELRICH 76-).

Substitutes not used: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) Yellow Cards: Dean Heffernan 90- Red Cards:

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ (28.Tommy AMPHLETT 79-), 11.Branko JELIC, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 21.Mile STERJOVSKI (12.Scott NEVILLE 84-)

Substitutes not used: 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk) Yellow Cards: Jacob Burns 30-, Mile Sterjovski 68- Red Cards: