Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne City  2 - 0

Article

A-League wrap: Mariners, Glory easy winners

14 December 2012 14:06

A rare Pedj Bojic brace has secured the Central Coast Mariners a 2-0 win against the Melbourne Heart on Friday night at Bluetongue Stadium.

The triumph sees Central Coast (26 points) temporarily extend their lead at the top of the table to four points with second-placed Adelaide (22) still to play Wellington on Sunday.

The fun started for Bojic in the 49th minute after a calamitous error from Melbourne Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton - one of the most consistent custodians in the A-League.

A Bojic strike from 26 metres out on the angle appeared to only require a regulation save but the ball slipped through Bolton's hands, then his legs and over the goal line.

Bolton was seemingly unsighted 20 minutes later after a dipping Bojic free kick passed the Melbourne Heart defensive wall and fired the Mariners to a fourth straight win.

Meanwhile, a brace from Travis Dodd either side of half-time set Perth Glory on their way to a 3-0 win over the Newcastle Jets.

Shane Smeltz was also on target from the penalty spot, firing into the top corner after being brought down by Josh Mitchell in the area.

It was the home side's first win since Round 5 when, coincidentally, they also beat Friday night's opponents.

Glory took the lead right on half-time when Dodd pounced on a loose ball from Mitchell Oxborrow to run through and finish low past Jets keeper Matt Nash.

After Jacob Burns had stung the goalkeeper's hands with a long-range strike a minute after the restart, Dodd doubled his side's lead as he was left unmarked six yards from goal to head home Liam Miller's cross.

Newcastle threatened on occasion but their finishing lacked conviction, an accusation which couldn't be levelled at Smeltz who made it 3-0 from the penalty spot on 75 minutes.

The Jets almost pulled one back late but Josh Risdon was well positioned on the goal line to clear Emile Heskey's header from a corner.

Article

Aloisi welcomes back returning trio

13 December 2012 03:44

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi will throw his returning stars straight into the starting line-up for Friday's clash with Central Coast.

Full-backs Aziz Behich and Michael Marrone, plus winger Richard Garcia, returned to training with the Heart on Wednesday after being involved in Australia's East Asian Cup qualifying campaign in Hong Kong.

Despite two clean-sheets without the two regular defenders, Aloisi said all three men will start at Bluetongue Stadium.

"Richie and Aziz played all the games, alright they didn't play 90 minutes in all of them, but they were involved in all of them," Aloisi said at La Trobe University on Thursday.

"They came back happy, fresh and so they're going to be involved tomorrow. All three will start.

"(Nick) Kalmar will miss out (for Garcia), which is hard on Nicky because Nicky played really well last week. But we all know what Richie can do."

Aloisi said last week's late-goal hero Golgol Mebrahtu, who scored on debut for the Heart to secure a 1-0 win over Perth Glory, would again be used from the bench as he continues to work toward full fitness after a succession of injuries.

The Heart coach said the league-leading Mariners present a formidable challenge for his team, and described Graham Arnold's side as one of the most consistent in the competition.

"They made the grand final the first year, when I was there we won the minor premiership and made the grand final," he said.

"(Captain John) Hutchinson, he goes unnoticed. He's the one that leads that team, on the pitch and off the pitch. He's brilliant.

"Team spirit goes a long way and the Mariners have had that from the beginning and that's why they've been successful and consistent.

"We know the Mariners are a good side, well-organised and we know what to expect from them - it's going to be a tough game, but we're confident we can get something there."

A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 27 +20 57
2 27 +26 54
3 27 +3 44
4 27 +1 41
5 27 +4 35
6 27 -2 32
7 27 -10 32
8 27 -15 31
9 27 -9 27
10 27 -18 27