Spot on - When Burns sank the Mariners

With the Central Coast Mariners rolling into town on Sunday, our minds drifted back to another clash with the Gosford outfit, one that had a very dramatic finale.

(No, not last season’s Round 1 clash that saw the visitors grab a point via a last-ditch penalty having come back from 3-0 down at half-time!)

Saturday 14th April 2012 was the date, Central Coast Stadium the venue and it was Glory skipper Jacob Burns who had the club’s destiny in his hands, or more accurately, at his feet.

After 120 minutes, the two sides remained locked at 1-1 meaning that a penalty shoot-out would be required to determine who would earn the right to face Brisbane Roar in the Grand Final.

The first seven penalties were all successfully converted before Mariners’ midfielder Michael McGlinchey lost his nerve and blazed over meaning that if Burns could find the net, Ian Ferguson’s men would be home and hosed.

“I had taken a few penalties over the years, but during my time at Glory we always had a designated penalty taker like Shane [Smeltz] or Robbie [Fowler], so I didn’t have to step up,” recalled the man who now works as the club’s Head of Football.

“But once we knew we were going to a shootout, I was always going to take one.

“I put my hand up straight away for the fifth.”

Burns then went on to reveal that he committed what has traditionally been regarded as the cardinal sin of penalty-taking; he changed his mind about which side to go.

“I had to re-position the ball a few times because I think McGlinchey had taken a divot out when he skied his penalty,” he joked.

“And then I decided to go left rather than open up my body and go right which is what I had been planning to do.

“I gave Mat Ryan the eyes a bit before the run-up and I don’t know if that made any difference, but he didn’t even dive for the ball in the end and it found the bottom corner.”

A fist pump and a scissor-leap followed and the former Socceroo was then caught and engulfed by his delighted team-mates, with Steven McGarry and Billy Mehmet, inevitably, very much to the fore.

Drama, controversy and ultimately heartache were to follow at Suncorp Stadium eight days later, but for one night at least, Gosford was truly Glorious.