CENTRAL Coast Mariners retained the Doug Turnbull Cup with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Bankstown City Lions at Jensen Park, Sefton on Wednesday.
A brace by Troy Hearfield combined with a first half penalty by Daniel McBreen and a crisp late effort by Tomas Rogic ensured the Mariners triumphed in their first Hyundai A-League pre-season match on Australian soil.
The Doug Turnbull Cup is played annually in memory of Central Coast Mariners Chairman Peter Turnbull’s late brother – a man who made a major contribution to football in the Bankstown region. Doug Turnbull made his debut for the Lions as a 16-year-old.
Indeed, it was the home team that crafted the first real opportunity of the clash ten minutes in. Impressive midfielder Reuban Lagos fired a stunning shot from range at goal, however Mariners National Youth League custodian David Bradasevic was up to the task, diving to his right to palm the ball onto the upper side of the bar and away for a corner.
The Mariners upped the ante thereafter and Adam Kwasnik showed his ability in the 24th minute, firing a classy curling effort onto the woodwork.
Just four minutes later, Daniel McBreen netted the games’ opening goal from the penalty spot after striker Troy Hearfield had been dragged down in the box.
It would take Graham Arnold’s men only a minute to double their lead. Great enterprise by Brad McDonald in midfield opened a chance for Hearfield, with the attacker making no mistake in sliding the ball past Zlatko Josevski.
After the interval Lagos again showed his capacity to shoot from range. Unleashing a powerful shot, the Bankstown number 6 had Bradasevic sprawling to his right. Unfortunately for the Lions faithful, the effort flew just wide of the mark.
In the 72nd Hearfield - who had by this time switched from striker to right midfield - doubled his personal tally for the night. Tomas Rogic found the attacker with a smart pass, before the former Pelita Jaya man thundered a left foot strike into the back of the net.
Not satisfied with his assist, Rogic popped up on the edge of the area in the 85th minute to slam a fierce low shot into the goal to round out the scoring.
After the match Central Coast boss Arnold spoke of his delight in his sides’ performance.
“It was quite a good performance overall,” he said. “We’ve been training extremely hard, we had two hard sessions yesterday. Illness has gone through the team [and] at the moment we’ve got six or seven players down with the flu.
“But overall it was a good performance. It could have been much more but there were some very promising signs.”
Arnold also shared his excitement at his attacking options for this campaign, which include – but are not limited to – Mitchell Duke, Bernie Ibini, Adam Kwasnik, Daniel McBreen, two-goal hero Troy Hearfield, and former Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski.
“We’ve got plenty of options in the front half of the field and when you add Mile [Sterjovski] into the mix it’s very exciting,” he said.
Bankstown City 0
Central Coast Mariners 4 (McBreen 28’ (Pen), Hearfield 29’, 72’, Rogic 85’)
Jensen Park, Sefton
Central Coast Mariners: 30. David Bradasevic (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose (13. Brent Griffiths 65’), 4. Pedj Bojic (22. James Oates 65’), 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 8. Adriano Pellegrino (10. Tomas Rogic 46’), 12. Troy Hearfield, 14. Michael McGlinchey (19. Mitchell Duke 58’), 15. Brad McDonald (17. Anthony Caceres 79’), 16. Trent Sainsbury, 23. Adam Kwasnik (9. Bernie Ibini 46’)
Subs not used: Nil