Perth Glory FC has secured an important point away from home, after a 1-1 draw against Central Coast Mariners in Gosford today.
‘Super-Sub’ Jamie Maclaren was the hero for Glory in the 79th minute, after guiding home a Nebojsa Marinkovic corner into the net.
Glory looked set to bring home the three points but on the brink of full-time, the hosts scored the equaliser with a fine Nick Montgomery long range shot, which screamed past stand-in ‘keeper Jack Duncan.
Coming into the match, Glory had the edge over the Mariners. It had beaten Central Coast twice this season, the first time with a historic win at Gosford in November. The follow up fixture at nib Stadium resulted in a 4-1 victory for Perth.
A gloomy and rainy Central Coast Stadium laid the backdrop to a crucial game for the West Australians who were looking for their first win in two months.
It almost came seven minutes in, after Marinkovic fired a wicked shot on goal forcing Mariners’ ‘keeper Liam Reddy to stretch and make a fingertip save, pushing the ball onto the crossbar. It fell to Andy Keogh, who tried to follow up with a shot on goal but his volley sent the ball over the bar.
Ten minutes later, Central Coast almost pinched the lead, after a defensive mistake saw a Nick Fitzgerald shot hit the post. Duncan rushed out and did enough to put Fitzgerald off balance.
The wet conditions and slippery surface troubled both teams at times and hindered the quality of football.
Both teams created chances as best they could with Glory’s defender Scott Jamieson and Marinkovic lashing at goal from distance but the shots didn’t test Reddy.
Just before half time, Keogh made a great run to turn and beat his marker, threading the ball into the box but a rushing Nichols wasn’t able to get there in time.
In the 63rd minute Maclaren came on for young gun Danny De Silva. Fifteen minutes later he scored a clever glancing header which put Glory on top and within reach of victory and a return to the top of the table.
However in injury time, Montgomery, who threatened a few times during the match, latched onto a loose ball and fired from long range which sunk into the top right hand corner.
Glory returns to nib Stadium next weekend to face Asian Champions Western Sydney Wanderers on March 28.
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Perth Glory FC: 6. Dino DJULBIC, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9. Andy KEOGH, 10. Nebo Marinkovic (5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS 86’), 11. Richard GARCIA, 17. Mitch NICHOLS (27. Dragan PALJIC 73’), 18. Jack DUNCAN (gk) 19. Joshua RISDON, 20. Danny DE SILVA (15. Jamie MACLAREN 63’), 21 Scott JAMIESON, 23. Michael THWAITE (C)
Central Coast Mariners: 3. Josh ROSE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO (15. Matt SIM 25’), 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 7. John HUTHINSON(C – 14. Travis MAJOR 85’), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (gk) 23.Isaka CERNAK (20. Anthony KALIK 69’), 24. Hayden MORTON, 26. Fabio FERREIRA.