Mariners Edge Out Heart

Melbourne Heart FC has fallen to its third loss of the Hyundai A-League season after the side was edged out by the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

Melbourne Heart FC has fallen to its third loss of the Hyundai A-League season after the side was edged out by the Central Coast Mariners 1-0 at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford.

A Daniel McBreen strike midway through the first half proved to be the fatal blow, as the towering striker headed home to inflict the Mariners second victory against the competition newcomers, who sorely missed the attacking influence of Rutger Worm and Alex Terra.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said his team suffered from the early disruption caused by a knock to Michael Beauchamp, who received treatment off-field for a large portion of the opening half.

“I think we started well, but Michael Beauchamp had some problems with his nose, so we were out for a while without him, and were then a little bit disorganised with a man less,” he said.

“After that moment, we didn-t come into our game anymore which is a shame as we started quite well. Gerald (Sibon), John (Aloisi) and Eli (Babalj) had chances, but that was then we were taking more risk.

He added: “I think at the end, of course there were a few moments where the Central Coast were going more backwards and we had some chances, but overall, we were lucky a few times and Clint (Bolton)had a good game.

“The things which were coming into the team in the first few games have gone away, and we are not growing and making steps. We need to see what we can do to get on the right path again.”

Heart made an impressive opening to the match, immediately placing the Mariners under pressure as Aziz Behich launched a low volleyed effort at goal.

However, inspired by the drive of Royston Griffiths, the Central Coast soon wrested control of the contest, as Bolton produced a stunning reflex save to deny an acrobatic McBreen effort.

But the former York City striker soon struck back, heading home a Pedj Bojic cross at the back post to hand the home side the advantage in the 20th minute.

With Heart on the back foot, the Central Coast surged forward, with Matt Simon directing a headed effort wide following a lofted ball by Oliver Bozanic.

The away side regrouped heading into half time, as Nick Kalmar latched onto a deft flick from Sibon before controlling and launching a snap shot which was well saved by Ryan.

But soon after the break, Heart suffered a massive blow when Beauchamp was given his marching orders, reducing the side to 10 men with over half an hour to play.

And the Mariners sought to capitalise, pushing forward in an attempt to seal the three points and move to equal top on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

However, Heart showed great resilience to withstand the Mariners siege, conjuring a number of chances of its own during the contest-s closing stages.

Substitute John Aloisi nearly snatched a point in added time, expertly controlling a long ball in the area before turning and shooting wide of the Mariners goal.