It was a match that was nearly called off due to the high amount of rain in the area immediately before kick-off, which forced the postponement of the curtain raising National Youth League decider, but the home fans will be very happy the match was played.
The conditions made the opening few minutes tough but a pattern quickly emerged as the Mariners took charge of the match.
After dominating the opening passages the Mariners hit the lead in the 17th minute as Bernie Ibini got on to Pedj Bojic’s pass forcing Nathan Coe off his line only for Ibini to square for Mitchell Duke to open the scoring.
Victory worked their way back in to the match and after two solid chances got a chance to equalize after Duke brought down Daniel Mullen in the box.
That allowed Mark Milligan to step up to the spot and he hit a powerful penalty that Mat Ryan got a solid hand to but couldn’t stop as Victory equalized.
Coe’s poor night continued in the 32nd minute after Rose found Duke with Coe rushing out of his box, Duke easily rounded the keeper and calmly slotted home to restore the lead.
The Mariners extended their lead in the 56th minute as another error allowed the Mariners in with Sam Galloway unable to intercept Duke’s pass, instead he played it in to the path of Michael McGlinchey who calmly slotted home the Mariners third.
It should have been four in the 66th minute after a late challenge from Adama Traore allowed Daniel McBreen to step up to the spot, only to hit his penalty in to the crossbar.
Three minutes after the missed penalty the Mariners handed Victory a lifeline as a Diogo Ferreira cross was fumbled by Ryan bouncing in to Trent Sainsbury and in to the back of the net.
That only served to fire the Mariners up more as Nick Fitzgerald made it 4-2 with his goal after being put through and firing home from the edge of the area.
McGlinchey scored his second of the night moments later after Ibini was played in allowing him to unselfishly square for the Kiwi international who cut in and scored coolly.
In stoppage time McGlinchey completed his hat-trick as McBreen chested down Ryan’s long ball and fed McGlinchey, who easily beat the Melbourne Victory defense and chipped Coe for a final score of 6-2.
The win is a great beginning to a season defining week for the Mariners who play their opening Champions League game on Wednesday before a virtual title decider against Western Sydney on Saturday.
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