Matt Simon headed home a hat-trick in the Central Coast Mariners’ preseason hit out against Central Coast United, where the Yellow and Navy emerged 4-0 winners.
To cap off Simon’s trio of headers, Mario Shabow chipped in with a goal of his own, in a great night for Central Coast Football. It was the first time that the Mariners have shared the pitch with United, played in front of an impressive crowd who all chipped in to raise much needed funds for farmers in need. The Central Coast Mariners kicked off proceedings in style with a brace to Simon in the opening 10 minutes. In true Simon fashion, both crosses were met by the head of a leaping Simon, that both fl ew into the back of the net. Simon’s brace would be the only two goals in the fi rst half, but the Yellow and Navy weren’t without their chances, keeping majority of the possession and fi eld position.
Two minutes after Simon’s second goal, centre back, Kalifa Cisse, bombed forward for a set piece, but his point-blank volley fl ew just over the crossbar. In the 15th minute, Jacob Melling, tried a strike of his own from distance that was bound for the bottom corner, only to be denied by a diving, Jack O’Malley. Josh Macdonald then fired a shot from a tough angle which drew O’Malley into another impressive save, to keep his side in the hunt. Heading into the half time break, the Mariners continued to pile the pressure on United, but their back four and keeper remained resolute and up to the task, seeing the Mariners hit the sheds with a 2-0 lead.
The Yellow and Navy kicked off the second half with a bang, when Shabow turned home a Simon header to make it 3-0. It was then 4-0 when Simon made it a trio of headers, sealing a preseason hat-trick. It was a much quieter affair in the closing 30 minutes of play, where a spirited United outfit created a couple of chances of their own, but the game ended 4-0 in favour of Mike Mulvey’s Mariners.
“The Central Coast Mariners would like to thank Central Coast United who held themselves proudly in what was a valuable preseason hit out. “Thanks also to the boisterous crowd who created a great atmosphere at Pluim Park,” said Mariners spokesperson, Tyson Scott.
Source: Media release, Sep 19 Tyson Scott, Central Coast Mariners Media