Simon strikes late as Mariners end 11-month Hyundai A-League drought
The drought is over – Central Coast Mariners have won their first match of the season after trumping Melbourne City 2-1 in Wednesday night’s Hyundai A-League clash.
Matt Simon’s initial penalty kick was saved by Eugene Galekovic, but the Mariners skipper turned in the rebound to hand Mike Mulvey’s side a priceless 89th minute winner.
It came just 10 minutes after Terrigal-born forward Lachlan Wales had equalised with a bullet header to cancel out Connor Pain’s first half opener.
However, Simon’s heroics at the second time of asking spurred the Gosford club to their first Hyundai A-League win since February 2018.
The victory snaps a 10-match losing streak for Mulvey’s men, who were poised to equal a competition record for most consecutive losses had they succumbed to another defeat.
The Mariners were rewarded for a bright start when Pain fired past Galekovic after an excellent run and pass from Matt Millar to hand the hosts a 32nd minute advantage.
But having sleepwalked through the opening half, City rallied in the second and their gradual dominance was paid off via Wales’ sharp header.
A crushing blow from the former Mariners youth, and one which was dealt just minutes after Jordan Murray spurned a glorious chance to restore Central Coast’s lead.
However, Simon stepped up to the spot after being fouled by Rostyn Griffiths to send Central Coast Stadium into delirium.
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