Stunning strikes from Anthony Caceres and Daniel McBreen, as well as a well placed Matt Simon header moments before half time secured Central Coast Mariners a 3-0 triumph in #F3DERBY 31 in Gosford on Saturday.
In front of nearly 11,000 supporters at the Club’s idyllic bayside base, Phil Moss’ men produced an impressive display to send their northern foes back to the Hunter scarred.
In just his fifth Hyundai A-League start for the Club, 21-year-old Caceres got the scoring started for the yellow and navy in the 13th minute. The youngster made a mazy dribble through midfield before unleashing a right foot rocket which left Jets custodian Mark Birighitti flapping.
20 minutes later Central Coast doubled their advantage through seasoned campaigner and last year’s Hyundai A-League Golden Boot winner, Daniel McBreen. After sweet interplay involving Simon, Mile Sterjovski, and Nick Fitzgerald, McBreen curled a left foot shot into the top corner to make the score 2-0.
Newcastle had a great opportunity to reduce arrears in the 45th minute when Adam Taggart played a great pass in to former Liverpool and England marksman, Emile Heskey. Unfortunately for Heskey though, he could only manage to spoon his shot over the crossbar from close range, letting the Mariners off the hook.
The Jets’ woes were compounded in first half added time when Moss’ side won a corner. Sterjovski sent the set piece into the box, and after evading his marker Simon guided his header beyond Birighitti to give the Mariners an unassailable 3-0 lead.
The Jets put the home side under some pressure in the second stanza, and had calls for a penalty waved away by referee Jarred Gillett nearing the hour mark.
Craig Goodwin also came close for Newcastle in the 73rd minute, however a combination of great goalkeeping from Liam Reddy as well as Reddy’s right post denied the former Melbourne Heart man.
The substitutions made by Phil Moss also had an impact on proceedings, with the fresh legs of troublemakers Bernie Ibini and Mitch Duke ensuring the Mariners kept pushing forward in attack until the final whistle.
Birighitti got down low late on to thwart marauding left back Josh Rose after he’d combined with the effervescent Ibini.
Ultimately, the quite brilliant trio of goals by Caceres, McBreen and Simon in the first 45 ensured that Newcastle’s winless run in Gosford extended to no less than nine matches.
Post game Mariners boss Moss said that despite the dominant scoreline there is much his team can still improve upon.
“Our first half was right up there and I think we probably raised the bar a little bit from last week, particularly because of our execution, we took our chances,” Moss said.
“(But) second half I wasn’t happy with a few things and I thought we left ourselves open, so we are still striving for that complete performance. But of course you don’t want it this early in the season, we’ll save it for later in the season.”
“There are aspects that we need to work on. I thought we left ourselves a bit open at times and gifted them some chances just through our own sloppiness so we need to work on that,” he said.
Moss was rapt with his team recording successive victories, and spoke of his joy for Caceres who has been working tirelessly to earn more minutes on the pitch for the Club’s first team.
Moss made the tough decision to leave Club legend and regular Captain John Hutchinson out of the starting side due to Caceres’ strong form in the Mariners’ 1-0 away win over Sydney FC last round.
“I am delighted for young Anthony Caceres,” he said. “I thought he was great in midfield and took his goal so well.”
“We all know at the Mariners it’s all about the team and not the individuals, and ‘Hutch’ (Hutchinson) took it so well, like the true Champion that he is. He was the first one to congratulate ‘Cass’ (Caceres) yesterday when he was announced in the team, and told him to ‘go out there and take the bull by the horns’.”
Central Coast Mariners FC 3 (Caceres 13’, McBreen 32’, Simon 45+2’)
Newcastle Jets FC 0
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Central Coast Mariners FC: 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (C) (7. John HUTCHINSON (C) 61’), 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON (9. Mitchell DUKE 72’), 21. Mile STERJOVSKI (20. Bernie IBINI 61’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 6. Brent GRIFFITHS
Yellow cards: Ibini
Red cards: Nil
Newcastle Jets FC: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk), 3. Taylor REGAN, 4. Kew JALIENS, 6. Zenon CARAVELLA, 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH (C), 9. Emile HESKEY, 11. Craig GOODWIN, 15. Joshua BRILLANTE (7. Andrew HOOLE 46’), 16. Jacob PEPPER, 21. Sam GALLAWAY (19. Michael BRIDGES 77’), 22. Adam TAGGART (27. Nick WARD 67’)
Substitutes not used: 14. Josh MITCHELL, 20. Ben KENNEDY (Gk)
Yellow cards: Regan, Jaliens, Hoole, Heskey
Red cards: Nil
Referee: Jarred Gillett