Melbourne City has celebrated its tenth anniversary in style, defeating the Central Coast Mariners 3-1 at AAMI Park.
Dressed in their traditional red-and-white stripes which they wore in their first ever match back in August 2010, City recorded its biggest win of the season as second half goals to Adrian Luna and Rostyn Griffiths followed Curtis Good, who opened the scoring in the first half.
The win extends City’s unbeaten start to five matches, a feat the club had never achieved before.
The Mariners came into the match after a big win away to Perth Glory and looked to continue this wave of momentum as young gun Sam Silvera fired the first attempt of the match in the tenth minute.
An audacious 16th minute attempt from captain Scott Jamieson forced his former teammate Mark Birighitti into an impressive save, resulting in a corner and one which City capitalised on.
On the club’s tenth birthday it just had to be Good – the only player in the squad to have played in the club’s inaugural season – to open the scoring.
A quickly taken short corner saw Lachlan Wales swing in a cross which landed on Good’s head at the front post and into the bottom corner in the 17th minute.
The 26-year-old netting just his second A-League goal with his glancing header – his first goal since 2012 back in the club’s Melbourne Heart days.
Tommy Oar nearly drew the Mariners level in the 30th minute, trying his luck with a low curled attempt after receiving the ball on the left wing.
The shot drew an awkward save from City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, who parried the ball into the path of a nearby Duric, who might have created a golden chance had it not been for Scott Galloway blocking the cross.
But the most clinical passage of the opening half went to Melbourne City.
Noone – looking to build on last week’s goal– put a deft through pass to Galloway in the 37th minute, before receiving it back and hitting the cross bar with his third long ranged attempt of the match.
City nearly added a second in the 44th minute as Metcalfe bullied his way into the box from the left wing before putting a cross into Luna, who would have scored had it not been for a strong – yet well-timed – challenge in desperation from Giancarlo Gallifuoco to deny a certain goal.
Standing at 169 centimetres, Adrian Luna lined-up as City’s striker and broke through in the 52nd minute, but a poor touch let the Uruguyan down as his run was halted by Birighitti storming off his line.
Duric had the Mariners’ best chance of the match in the 55th minute after Corey Brown found the midfielder, hovering around the six-yard box, with a pin-point cross, but Duric was unable to get any power behind the free header – directing it straight at Bouzanis.
The Mariners would go on to rue this opportunity as Luna doubled City’s lead in the 59th minute with a poacher’s finish at the front post off a Metcalfe low delivery into the box.
Metcalfe then came inches away from a scoring a goal of his own in the 62nd minute – twisting and turning at the top of penalty area before cutting the ball onto his left foot and chipping the ball just over the cross bar.
As the rain got heavier, so too did City’s attack as they looked to put the nail in the coffin.
Buoyed by his debut goal, Luna nearly added a second from a free-kick in the 64th minute which saw Birighitti getting a hand to it just in time to keep it out.
But the City onslaught would be too much to handle as Rostyn Griffiths opened his account for the new season, tapping in the easiest of goals in the 82nd minute after dummies from both Harrison Delbridge and substitute Stefan Colakovski from a set-piece.
The Mariners pulled one back in the 89th minute through a neat Jordan Murray finish, after the former APIA striker controlled the ball with his thigh before slamming the ball in from close range.
The goal merely a consolation as City ends the night undefeated and on top of the league.
Featured Image: Fox Sports
Melbourne City 3 (Good 17′, Luna 49′, Griffiths 82′)
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Murray 89′)
Dean Bouzanis (GK), Scott Galloway, Scott Jamieson (C), Harrison Delbridge, Josh Brillante, Rostyn Griffiths, Craig Noone, Lachlan Wales (Marcelo Cabrera 84′), Adrian Luna (Stefan Colakovski 80′), Curtis Good, Connor Metcalfe
Thomas Glover, Nathaniel Atkinson, Denis Genreau, Ramy Najjarine, Moudi Najjar,
Central Coast Mariners
Mark Birighitti (GK), Ziggy Gordon, Jack Clisby, Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Eunsun Kim 56’), Milan Duric (Jordan Murray 68’), Thomas Oar, Daniel De Silva, Kye Rowles, Dylan Fox, Sam Silvera, Gianni Stensness (Matt Simon 81′)
Adam Pearce (GK), Michael McGlinchey, Ruon Tongyik, Josh Nisbet