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Central Coast deny Newcastle top-four finish with 3-0 display

Central Coast Mariners have cruised past the Newcastle Jets in the F3 Derby in Gosford. The original fixture was postponed to tonight from Saturday due to inclement weather and the Mariners turned it on for their home fans to claim a 3-0 victory.

Central Coast Mariners: 3 (Nigel Boogaard '17, Adam Kwasnik '50, Matt Simon '72) Newcastle Jets: 0 Venue: Bluetongue Stadium

The Jets were chasing fourth spot on the table for a home final and dominated the first 20 minutes but things did not go to plan when Mariners defender Nigel Boogaard, in his last home game for the club, got on the end of an outswinging Brad Porter corner and nodded home into the wet turf to give his side the lead.

Ten minutes later, the Mariners should have been two up despite Newcastle controlling the game when Adam Kwasnik won a strength battle with Ljubo Milicevic before playing in Porter who was free in the area but he lacked composure with the finish which was a massive let off for the visitors.

The match remained 1-0 up until half-time and Jets coach Branko Culina would have been keen to have a few stern words with his players.

Five minutes into the second half, the Jets plight got worse when Shane Huke played a clever ball into the path of Kwasnik who summed up the situation brilliantly and lobbed over the oncoming Ben Kennedy and into the back of the net.

Things went from bad to worse for Newcastle when striker Labinot Haliti was sent off in the 57th minute when he was shown his second yellow card for a intentional handball in his own penalty area and it looked like fourth place was clearly unattainable.

It became even clearer in the 72nd minute when substitute Brady Smith turned swiftly in the area before setting up Matt Simon with a lovely ball and the striker finished off the good work for his seventh goal of the season.

The Jets were unable to trouble Mariners keeper Danny Vukovic in the final 20 minutes and could not peg one back as Central Coast moved to seventh on the table with their seventh win of the season in a great send off for veteran Andrew Clark who played his last home game in front of the Bluetongue Stadium crowd.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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