We love our Hyundai A-League action and with more than three months until the new season begins, we are doing it tough.
To try and ease the wait until the 2019/20 campaign gets underway in October we are looking back at some memorable 2018/19 moments.
We continue our look back today with Central Coast Mariners. While it was a tumultuous campaign that saw the Gosford club finish with the wooden spoon, there were still some memorable moments that had the fans cheering.
Here’s three of them...
Thrilling F3 Derby win over the Jets
Heading into the final F3 Derby of the campaign against the Newcastle Jets, the Mariners had endured a week from hell.
An 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Wellington Phoenix seven days earlier – itself following on from a 5-3 defeat at home to second-bottom Brisbane Roar – led to coach Mike Mulvey being relieved of his duties.
So who knew what they would dish up under caretaker boss Alen Stajcic at McDonald Jones Stadium?
What followed was one of the best 90 minutes of the Mariners' season. Stajcic's under-fire players stunned the home fans with three goals in 16 minutes early in the second half through Jordan Murray, Jem Karacan and Connor Pain.
A late rally from the Jets threatened to derail the party, but a couple of penalty saves at the death from 'keeper Ben Kennedy (see below) enabled the Mariners to hold on for a nigh-on-miraculous 3-2 win.
Cue joyous scenes at full time as Stajcic’s reign began in perfect fashion.
BK’s penalty heroics
It’s never easy for the 'keeper of a side that is struggling for results, but Kennedy deserved his moment in the sun from that win over the Jets.
The experienced gloveman, who was born in Newcastle and spent 11 years of his career with his hometown club, will have enjoyed playing a key role in denting their finals hopes.
With the Mariners grimly holding onto a 3-2 lead in the face of a Jets onslaught, it seemed like it might all be in vain when the Hunter club were awarded a stoppage-time penalty.
RED DEVILS COMING: One month to go until Manchester United take on Perth Glory
MEMORABLE MOMENTS: Adelaide United's best times from the 2018/19 Season
It was a heart-wrenching moment. But the drama was just getting started.
Kennedy flew to his left to keep out Roy O’Donovan’s initial attempt only to see the rebound buried by Daniel Georgievski.
But referee Adam Kersey decided that the penalty would have to be re-taken after Video Assistant Referee review indicated that the Jets fullback had encroached on the initial kick.
So, with 98 minutes now on the clock, O’Donovan stepped up again only to be denied a second time by Kennedy who leapt to his left again to deny the Irishman and preserve a priceless three points for the visitors.
Hoole shows his free-kick finesse
Andrew Hoole gained a reputation for his ability from free-kicks in 2018/19, not least in the Round 17 clash with Melbourne Victory.
The 25-year-old scored two sensational free-kicks in the first half at Central Coast Stadium.
His first, which took out that week’s Goal of the Round, was from almost 30-metres out and was a brilliant combination of power and precision.
HOOLE DEPARTS: Attacker joins Broadmeadow Magic
PLAYER MOVEMENTS: How does the Hyundai A-League transfer window work?
Little more than 20 minutes later he repeated the dose, this time curling a pinpoint strike over the wall and past a despairing Lawrence Thomas.
While Victory fought back after the break to win 3-2, Hoole’s set-piece specials were the highlight of a thrilling game in Gosford.