Penalty earns Mariners A-League win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Penalty earns Mariners A-League win

By Peter Williams 28/09/2006 09:31:33 PM Comments (0)

He may not have kicked the goal but former Socceroo Damian Mori has helped Central Coast break its A-League duck when he earned the Mariners a late penalty against the New Zealand Knights.

Mori was brought down in the 85th minute and striker Adam Kwasnik converted the kick to give the Mariners a 1-0 victory when the uninspiring match at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium looked headed for a stalemate.

Mori, 36, was this week plucked from club football in Adelaide to join Central Coast on a four-week contract to give the bottom-placed side more options on goal.

A muffed back pass by Knights defender Darren Bazeley gave the veteran Australian a golden opportunity to score.

Defender Che Bunce brought him down and was red carded in addition to the penalty for an infringement which Knights coach Paul Nevin thought happened outside the box.

"He's come in and done a fantastic job as I said, latched onto the ball," acting Mariners coach Ian Ferguson said.

"For a 36-year-old to have that pace and win the ball when he did and get to the box was fantastic for us."

The win came in the absence of coach Lawrie McKenna, who flew to Scotland ahead of the game after a death in the family.

After the goal, the Knights were further reduced to nine men when referee Peter O'Leary sent off Gregory Duruz for an apparent clash with a Mariners player.

Even Nevin became involved in the resulting melee on the sidelines.

"There was pushing and shoving after the referee got involved and again there was some names being shouted and I don't think it's appropriate," he said.

"It's right on your doorstep, the emotion's high and again maybe I should have stepped back but it's right there in front of my face," said Nevin.

Despite the player shortage the Knights came perilously close to equalising in extra time when a Neil Emblem header just went over the bar.

The frenzy of the last five minutes was in stark contrast to what had been a dour struggle on a bumpy surface of a playing field regularly ripped up by rugby games.

"It wasn't pretty football but we've played some decent games with attractive football and got nothing," Central Coast captain Noel Spencer said.

"Three points was the main objective and we got that."

"We're lucky we got a bit of luck and hopefully that's a turn of the corner for our guys."

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