It was a match that ebbed and flowed just like the weather on the Central Coast and City boss Michael Valkanis says his side put in the effort and endeavour to deserve all three points.
The result saw City move to third on the A-League ladder as a Bruno Fornaroli double and an own goal saw Valkanis’ side stave off a hungry Mariners who struck twice either side of the break.
Despite the set-backs, City continued to push for the result and were rewarded with the three points with Valkanis saying these were the types of games his side needed to convert to build momentum going into the final rounds.
“At the business end of the season it’s very important to come away with the three points,” Valkanis said.
“We’ll look at it and assess the performance in the first half, analyse the second half and what went wrong, and move on to the next game.
“There were a couple of situations that we probably should have dealt with a little bit better. I thought in the first half we were in control of the game. In the second half, we probably dropped a little too deep and gave them too much space and they were able to put us under pressure in the penalty area.
“When you look at the boys’ effort and endeavour to make sure they got the three points, they did everything they could and that was the most important.”
Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Mariners marked City’s first win away in Australia in over a year and collecting three points in matches leading up to the finals has Valkanis and his side primed for an important run towards the finals.
One man who continues to make a difference for City is Club Captain Bruno Fornaroli and in his 50th A-League match for the Club, the forward continued his impressive goals to game ratio.
“It’s special. Bruno is a very good player and he scored an important goal again. He stepped up in an important moment,” Valkanis said.
“He’s very hard to deal with, he’s exceptional at holding up the ball and playing midfielder's in, and he takes his chances.
“We’re very happy with Bruno. There are plenty more games to play and hopefully he scores more goals.”
City will have this week off with the A-League’s split round and will be back on Saturday 18 March as they take on the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm. Secure your place at the match today!