Wanderers downed by Mariners

Cy Goddard’s first A-League Men’s goal and a curling free kick from Oliver Bozanic have sealed a 2-0 win for Central Coast over Western Sydney.

In energy-sapping heat at Gosford Stadium on Saturday, Goddard rifled home a close-range strike to open the scoring in the 59th minute.

Wanderers substitute Dimi Petratos almost equalised as he carved a way past a Mariners defence that looked all at sea, but goalkeeper Mark Birighitti made a superb reflex save to protect his clean sheet.

Central Coast captain Bozanic found the top corner with virtually the final kick of the game, putting the icing on the cake in his 100th ALM appearance for the Mariners as they claimed back-to-back home wins over their Sydney-based rivals.

Two drinks breaks were called in each half as the temperature in Gosford soared well above 30 degrees.

Not even the return of veteran goalscorer Tomer Hemed from injury could spark life into Western Sydney’s attack, with both sides struggling to create fluency in their build-up play.

The Mariners’ opener eventually came just before the hour, after Josh Nisbett charged forward and played in Lewis Miller on the right.

The full-back’s low cross took a slight deflection off a defender and fell to Goddard, who fired his shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

It led to another drinks break and prompted Robinson to make three substitutions, including Petratos, who had made way for Hemed in the Wanderers’ starting line-up and almost made himself the hero.

Petratos faked out three Mariners defenders, who all went to ground trying to block shots that weren’t fired, but the striker couldn’t finish past Birighitti.

The immense block by the Mariners keeper allowed his side to get down the other end and seal the result through captain Bozanic, who fired home a free-kick in his 100th club appearance to hand the hosts a 2-0 lead in extra time.