John Hutchinson has been given the perfect send off as he played his last home game before his retirement and lead his Central Coast Mariners to victory at Central Coast Stadium. The Mariners got the win over Western Sydney Wanderers, 1-0 thanks to an early goal.
It took just two minutes for the Mariners to hit the lead and it came from a defender rushing forward as Josh Rose scored. Finding some typical space out on the left hand side, he was able to hit the powerful strike down low which the keeper couldn’t get to, getting the Hutchinson and Matt Simon farewell off to the perfect start.
The early goal lead to an open match, as Western Sydney were now forced to chase the game as they looked to gain some form for the Asian Champions League. They were able to have more of the chances following the opening goal but they could not find the target.
There were two chances to each side back to back midway through the first half with the Wanderers in the 20th minute as Romeo Castelen found Kerem Bulut but he sent his effort well over the bar. The Mariners had a chance two minutes later as Anthony Kalik found Fabio Ferreira but Ferreira’s effort was blocked by the Wanderers defense.
The Mariners really dominated the match in the later stages of the first half as they had almost all of the ball, but they didn’t have many chances. There was one last chance in the half for the Mariners as Isaka Cernak had a chance to get the shot away but it was saved by Dean Bouzanis, keeping it 1-0 at the break.
Western Sydney started the second half much better than they ended the first as they had much more of the ball. But they just could not find the target, with Nate Poljak and Nick Kalmar looking dangerous but they proved wasteful with their chances.
But around the hour mark the Central Coast really started to get control back of the match as they had much more possession. Nick Fitzgerald was looking dangerous for the Mariners as he was able to put and create plenty of chances, sending an effort wide in the 59th minute.
Western Sydney just never looked in the match in the final half hour as their fatigue took them out of the match. The match was seemingly running out with the Mariners in control which allowed the hosts to take off John Hutchinson to a standing ovation with ten minutes to play.
From there the Mariners simply closed out the match with Western Sydney really not looking in the match at all. The result means that Western Sydney will be in contention for the wooden spoon, but Tony Popovic remains in the coaching position with little pressure despite a spectacular fall from grace for the club.