Mariners cause Heart attack in A-League opener

by Neil Sherwin

The Hyundai A-League kicked off last Thursday night as the Central Coast Mariners travelled to Melbourne to take on the newly formed Heart and came away with a surprise 1-0 victory. Alex Wilkinson bagged a rare goal for the visiting Mariners to spoil the part in the Hearts first A-League game since their inception.

In Friday night’s action, Robbie Fowler made his debut for Perth Glory in a see battle with his old club North Queensland Fury in a game which finished three goals apiece. Glory took the lead early through Branko Jelic in front of 16,0911 spectators, their highest ever attendance, but were pegged back by Fury who then took the lead shortly after the half time break. However goals from Scott Neville and Mile Sterjovski put the hosts back in the ascendency only for Chris Grossman to snatch a point with a header in injury time.

The night’s other game was a drab and dull affair between Adelaide United and the Newcastle Jets, both of whom are strongly tipped to be there or there abouts for the wooden spoon at the end of the season. The Jets, who are captained by former Leeds United and Sunderland striker Michael Bridges, will set the result as an opportunity missed given that Adelaide were without a number of first choice players.

On Saturday, the first real blockbuster took place between the two Grand Final teams from last year – Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. In a typically competitive game between the two, Sydney raced into a two goal lead thanks to strikes from Terry McFlynn and Alex Brosque, but three goals in seven second half minutes swung the game in the victory’s favour. Leigh Broxham, Mate Dugandzic and Billy Celeski were the scorers but it wasn’t enough to steal all three points as an 84th minute Shannon Cole free kick meant the spoils were shared.

The final first round game also finished 0-0 as Gold Coast United put in a less than satisfactory performance at home to rivals Brisbane Roar. With Shane Smeltz in the side following his controversial return from a move to China, United would have been keen to get off to winning start but they failed to muster a shot on or off target in the first half. Although they improve after the break, Brisbane were good value for their point and might be slightly disappointed not to have taken all three back to the state capital.

Round 2 -

Friday, 13 August 2010

Wellington Phoenix v Gold Coast United

Newcastle Jets v Melbourne Heart

Saturday, 14 August 2010

North Queensland Fury v Sydney FC

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United

Brisbane Roar BYE


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