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Mariners pay the penalty in Melbourne defeat

Trailing 2-1 at the time, Mariners forward Mile Sterjovski was brought down by Melbourne defender Pablo Contreras in the 52nd minute at the right-hand junction of the penalty area, although referee Matthew Gillett only saw fit to award a free kick.

The resultant dead-ball situation was nearly scored by new signing Eddy Bosnar but Moss' frustration was clear in the post match media-conference.

"100 percent penalty, there is no grey areas - it's a penalty box marked by white lines and it wasn't given," declared Moss.

"The foul was definitely inside the box, so that's disappointing.

"They must have thought it was outside not to give it (as a penalty.)

Lamenting his side's lack of finishing Moss analysed the game by saying: "Big games are won in big moments, that's with or without the ball."

"The big moments with the ball today we scored one good goal, (it was) great build up and Bernie was there for the second ball off Coe but we had some other big moments where we didn't take out chances with the ball.

"We copped a sucker-punch from them."

Moss noted his disappointment at his side's inability to counter the Victory game-plan.

"We know how many goals they score from getting in behind and then the opposite winger gets on the end of it so that's disappointing.

"We knew what was coming, we just didn't defend it well enough and that's something we have to look at.

"But no-one in the league plays the way Melbourne Victory do, it's certainly a tactical challenge when you play against them."

With the Mariners starting their AFC Champions League campaign on February 25, adding an extra load to the club's A-League title-defence, Moss outlined some of his player management strategy.

"It's crucial to a make sure everyone is match fit going into that period because you have a lot of travel, a lot of games in a short space of time and you need everyone one board

"That's why I went and got the players that I got to add depth and quality to what we have already got and to be able to push each other in training every week because the more intense the training session are the better you are for the weekend games and mid-week games in Asia.

"We will look at making sure everyone is at a similar level, match minutes-wise for what's ahead."

Moss confirmed that new recruit South Korean Kim Seung-yong is fit to play once his international clearance is confirmed.

"He will certainly come into strong contention next week.

"Whether we start him or bring him off the bench to introduce him to Australian football time will tell.

"I've bought him out her with a view to playing him at ten, but I know he can play seven or eleven just as effectively, or as a second striker if we play go to two up front."

"I think he gives us real versatility in that top four.

Of two of his late transfer window signings Moss was particularly impressed with veteran defender Eddy Bosnar.

"I thought Eddy Bosnar's debut tonight was fantastic, he showed a lot of promise with the games ahead. He used his experience and he is deadly from free kicks which is great.

"Isaka Cernak did some promising things off the bench as well." 

The result sees the Victory join the Central Coast on 27 points, with Saturday night's combatants four points in arrears of second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers.