Goalscorer Troy Hearfield
CENTRAL Coast Mariners continued their pre-season preparations in fine fashion, defeating Central Coast Football Select (CCFS) 7-0 at Bluetongue Stadium on Thursday evening.
Goals from John Hutchinson, Adam Kwasnik, Troy Hearfield, Trent Sainsbury, Joey Gibbs, and a brace from Mitchell Duke sealed the victory for the yellow and navy against a spirited Select side.
Graham Arnold’s men dominated from the outset and had a few half chances to take an early lead.
Bernie Ibini came close with some impressive footwork inside the box but couldn’t get a clean shot away.
Only moments later, Troy Hearfield had a great chance to open the scoring for Central Coast when he was the recipient of a dangerous Josh Rose cross. Unfortunately, Hearfield sent the ball just wide of the post.
Mitchell Duke opened the scoring for the Mariners nine minutes in, teaming up with Pedj Bojic following his marauding run down the right flank.
John Hutchinson added to the scoreboard in the 30th minute as he blasted home an outstanding strike from outside the box.
Duke added another goal to his name 37 minutes in as he fired his shot past the gloveman Luke Gunn from just outside the area.
Substitute Adam Kwasnik was in the action soon after as he slammed the woodwork from a long way out. Not to be denied, Kwasnik curled a wonderful effort into the goal in the 42nd minute.
CCFS’s Matthew Hogan was handed an opportunity to peg one back for Lawrie McKinna’s side but failed to trouble Central Coast custodian Mat Ryan with his effort.
Hearfield finished the first half in style for the Mariners, finding the net just before the half time whistle.
Due to the ongoing local finals series which many of the Select representatives are involved in, CCFS fielded a completely different eleven in the second stanza.
Nevertheless, the Mariners continued to control the pace after the break and Trent Sainsbury headed the ball into the net following an Adriano Pellegrino corner in the 48th minute.
Joey Gibbs rounded out the scoring for Central Coast from close range five minutes before referee Adam Gehrig’s full time whistle.
While pleased with his side’s performance, Mariners Head Coach Arnold said the real winner on the night was the Central Coast football community. Nearly 1,500 fans enjoyed the match at a balmy Bluetongue Stadium.
“We performed well and these matches are great for our local community,” Arnold said.
“It is fantastic to be able to give local players the opportunity to play against the professionals at Bluetongue Stadium and the Club will be looking to keep this tradition going next year.”
Central Coast Mariners next pre-season friendly is on Wednesday 12 September against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium. Kick-off is 7:30pm local time.
Arnold’s men will then play Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory side at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga on Sunday 16 September. Kick off is 3:00pm local time.
Central Coast Mariners 7 (Duke 9’, 37’, Hutchinson 30’, Kwasnik 42’, Hearfield 45+1’, Sainsbury 48’, Gibbs 84’)
Central Coast Football Select 0
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford