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Central Coast control proceedings against Nth Qld Fury

Central Coast Mariners have again scored a bag of goals away from home to notch up another comfortable win. The Mariners followed on from their 4-0 demolition of reigning champions Melbourne Victory in round 14 to record a 5-1 win over North Queensland Fury in Townsville.

North Queensland Fury: 1 (Rostyn Griffiths '68) Central Coast Mariners: 5 (Pedj Bojic '22, Nik Mrdja '35, '59, Ahmad Elrich '62, John Hutchinson '82) Venue: Dairy Farmers Stadium Crowd: 7,587

In the 22nd minute, the Phoenix went ahead when Pedj Bojic controlled a long ball from the left of defence and finished brilliantly from an acute angle.

Just under 15 minutes later, the Mariners doubled their advantage when Nik Mrdja smashed home a free-kick from outside the area giving Fury keeper Paul Henderson no chance and they were almost three to the good when Adam Kwasnik's shot rattled the left upright moments later.

Right on half-time, Fury star Robbie Fowler had a golden opportunity to get one back for his side but his close range shot cannoned into the crossbar before he controlled the ricochet and knocked it into the path of Daniel McBreen who couldn't tuck his shot past Mariners keeper Danny Vukovic.

A minute after the break, the Fury had another great chance to score when David Williams was played through in the area but failed to beat the advancing Vukovic who was able to make a desperate save to keep his team two goals ahead.

In the 56th minute, North Queensland substitute Dyron Daal came agonisingly close to a goal but was thwarted by the corner of the crossbar after his shot beat Vukovic all ends up.

Fury's bad luck continued when Mrdja helped himself to his second of the night with a well-taken left-foot shot the edge of the area to make it 3-0 to the visitors just before the hour-mark.

The Mariners could smell blood and were quickly lining up for a fourth, which fell to Ahmad Elrich who finished easily from inside the area, making Henderson's already bad night turn into a nightmare.

The Fury managed to get one back when Rostyn Griffiths flicked a David Williams shot into the back of the net with just over twenty minutes remaining, giving the Fury a slight glimmer of hope.

With under ten minutes left, the Mariners netted a fifth when Malta international John Hutchinson latched onto a through ball and slammed it home into the left corner to make it 5-1, ending a great night for the Central Coast.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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