United cruise past Mariners
A dominant second-half display has ensured Adelaide United a comfortable 3-1 victory over the Central Coast
Mariners at Hindmarsh Stadium this evening.
The Mariners had the better of an exciting first half, but could only go into the break level at 1-1, with
veterans Carl Veart and Damian Mori each on the scoresheet.
However, United stepped up the pace in the second 45 minutes, controlling the football and creating
numerous chances, before recalled defender Kristian Rees headed in Bobby Petta’s swinging corner for the
decisive score, a quarter of an hour after the restart.
Impressive Australian under-20 forward Nathan Burns made sure of the points in stoppage time with his
second goal in as many games, securing the Reds some measure of revenge following their devastating loss to
Central Coast in last season’s preliminary final.
Adelaide’s third success of the season allows them to maintain their top-four position after seven rounds,
goal difference ahead of Perth with a huge clash against undefeated Melbourne looming next Sunday.
For the Mariners, defeat was their fourth of the year as they slump five points behind fifth-placed Glory,
ahead of a grand final re-match with Sydney FC at home next Friday night.
Coming off a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of bitter rivals Sydney last Monday, Adelaide coach John Kosmina
opted for change, going with a 3-4-3 formation and replacing Travis Dodd (Socceroos) and Robert Cornthwaite
with Jason Spagnuolo and Rees.
Mariners mentor Lawrie McKinna, back home after a rush trip to Scotland, inserted midfielder Damien Brown
and defender Vuko Tomasevic into his starting lineup, for Tony Vidmar (Socceroos) and Stewart Petrie.
The new structure troubled United early, as Central Coast utilised the space down the wings to great
effect, continually testing the Reds’ defence with a series of dangerous crosses. Mariners’ defender Paul
O’Grady had keeper Robert Bajic diving to save a sweetly timed volley in the 22nd minute, while the crafty
Mori couldn’t quite connect with a Brown centre from the flank.
The 36-year-old Mori would play a big role in game’s opening goal, however, much to everyone’s surprise, it
would be for the opposition. The former Adelaide City star, in the third game of a four-week stint with
Central Coast, failed to clear a United corner, only succeeding in finding Spagnuolo who crossed to an
unmarked Veart to score.
Mori would make up for his mistake seven minutes before half-time with a consummate striker’s goal, beating
the off-side trap before rounding Bajic and finding the net from a tight angle, setting off a chorus of boos
from the parochial Adelaide faithful.
The Mariners spurned further opportunities prior to the interval; chances they would come to rue as United
clicked into gear in the second half.
A-League Round 7|
@ Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide|
Referee: Ben Williams
With Greg Owens, Spagnuolo and former Celtic player Petta in fine form through the midfield, the Reds began
to attack with gutso and it took only four minutes of play for Burns to hit the post.
In the 57th minute, Veart’s well-timed ball had Petta in the clear, but another wonderful save from
Mariners’ doorkeeper Danny Vukovic kept the visitors on level terms.
However, there was little Vukovic could do moments later when the ensuing Petta corner found the towering
Rees at the back post for a close-range header and a 2-1 lead.
The home side continued to pepper the goals with Veart, Owens and Burns all wasting good chances to seal a
deserved victory, which Central Coast nearly denied them with a late strike from midfielder Noel Spencer.
But his wild attempt caused no trouble for Bajic and the 19-year-old Burns would complete the scoring in
injury-time, latching onto a long crossfield pass from Veart to race in and score his second goal in five
Robert Bajic (gk), Kristian Rees (Adam van Dommele 79’), Angelo Costanzo, Michael Valkanis, Ross Aloisi, Carl
Veart, Matthew Kemp, Greg Owens, Nathan Burns, Bobby Petta, Jason Spagnuolo (Richie Alagich 74’). Subs not
Used: Daniel Beltrame (gk), Bruce Djite. Yellow Cards: none.
Central Coast Mariners:
Danny Vukovic (gk), Paul O’Grady, Noel Spencer, Jamie McMaster (John Hutchinson 86’), Damien Brown, Vuko
Tomasevic, Andrew Clark, Matthew Osman, Alex Wilkinson, Adam Kwasnik (Tom Pondeljak 69’), Damian Mori. Subs
not used: Mile Jedinak, Matthew Trott (gk). Yellow Cards: none.
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