North Sydney Oval proved to be an unhappy hunting ground for the Central Coast Mariners on Friday night as they fell 3-0 to Melbourne Victory. Cronan Yu rates each player's performance.
Central Coast Mariners
Liam Reddy 6 – Was a leader at the back and dealt well with threatening crosses from the flank. Unlucky to have conceded three goals and was helpless in each of them.
Storm Roux 6 – Showed some class at times, most notably dealing with Connor Pain, who looked to cause all sorts of trouble on the left flank. Otherwise, endured a performance indicative of Mariners’ form.
Zac Anderson 6.5 – Read the play well in opening exchanges to break up Victory’s attack. Attempted to keep the back line intact in the second half but failed to do so.
Josh Rose 5.5 – Was unable to deal with Victory in the second half with Archie Thompson’s runs in midfield often drawing him out of position to create space for Besart Berisha to exploit.
Michael Neill 7 – Was rather impressive as left wing back. Did well to contain Kosta Barbarouses and was persistent in defence. Definitely a player to watch out for in the future.
Hutchinson 6.5 – Attempted to spread the play from the back to the wingers. Kept the Victory out for most of the first half though things weren’t as impressive in the last 45 minutes.
Nick Montgomery 7 – Was heavily involved in all aspects of the match. Passing was tidy and managed to halt Victory at crucial stages of the game.
Richard Vernes 6.5 – Showed glimpses of class which were juxtaposed with momentary hesitations and poor decision making to cap off an inconsistent performance.
Anthony Caceres 6.5 – Brimmed with confidence when offered space but his teammates were often on a different wavelength.
Nick Fitzgerald 7 – Was lively down the left, wreaking havoc when cutting inside with his right foot. Missed some crucial chances to get Mariners on the board, and will be ruing his poor form in front of goal.
Matt Simon 6.5 – Combined reasonably well with Fitzgerald as the Mariners attempted to break open Victory’s makeshift defence. Failed to register a shot throughout the match.
Matthew Sim 5 – Came on in the 74th minute and didn’t have much of an impact on proceedings.
Mitchell Duke 6 – Tried to pull a few goals after coming on in the 57th minute but, despite some decent runs, was largely ineffective.
Glen Trifiro 5 – Came on for Nick Montgomery in the 74th minute. Tried to be positive in attack.
Nathan Coe 6 – Did not have much to deal with in all honesty but was alert whenever Mariners looked threatening in attack.
Jason Geria 6.5 – Made a return to the starting line-up and found composure on the ball, combining well with Barbarouses. Made a crucial last-gasp tackle to deny Fitzgerald a shot from range seconds shy of half-time. Taken off in the 49th minute.
Leijer 6 – Was slightly hesitant in defence at times but still had a decent performance and, alongside Broxham, dealt well with the Mariners’ attack.
Leigh Broxham 7 – Starting at centre-back, Broxham showed why he has been one of the best players in the league thus far this season, composed and rarely fazed.
Daniel Georgievski 8 – Combined well with Thompson down the left flank in the first half. Kept up the intensity in the second and had an A-League goal – his first ever in the competition – to show for it.
Mark Milligan 7 – Displayed class on the ball as he attempted to make Melbourne Victory’s transition from defence into attack as seamless as possible. Was proactive in defence.
Carl Valeri 6 – Struggled to make much of an impact in the match and gave away some cheap fouls inside their own half.
Ben Khalfallah 6.5 – Showed some promise throughout but was guilty of overplaying on many occasions, attempting to force the issue against a stubborn Mariners defence. Threatened when pushed out to the left wing. Subbed off in the 80th minute.
Kosta Barbarouses 6 – Dangerous on the right wing, and whenever he was given space by Neill, managed to play neat crosses, in particular, his pass to set up Pain for Melbourne’s third.
Besart Berisha 7 – Inconsistent in the first half although made some threatening runs, some of which were deemed offside. Showed he is still one of the league’s best even on an off-day, netting Victory’s first to break the deadlock.
Archie Thompson 7.5 – Was lively down the left wing in the first half and became more influential in the second when a change in system saw him move in-field to a No. 10 role. Set up Berisha for Melbourne’s first. Subbed off on the 70th minute.
Connor Pain 6.5 – Scored his second A-League goal of the season two minutes after coming off the bench.
Nicholas Ansell 6 – Came on for Geria in the first few minutes of the second. Although composed, in fairness, did not have much to deal with. Was given a yellow card on the 84th minute.
Jess Makarounas N/A – Didn’t make much of an impact after coming on for Ben Khalfallah on the 80th minute.comments