Melbourne City just continues to disappoint its fans. After an impressive second half performance against Adelaide United last week to earn all three points, it seemed that it could have fired up the team, built confidence and ultimately allowed us to reach the finals.
However, once again, the team dished out a poor performance against a team we have beaten on just one occasion – a little over three years ago. We were to face the bottom three teams in the league in succession but almost unsurprisingly, the run of games has already got off to a bad start. City actually started the game with real, attacking intent and despite finding plenty of space in the final third, it appeared as if they weren’t desperate enough to score.
Very early on, Robert Koren attempted a strike from almost 30 yards out but Reddy was able to parry it away. The opportunities continued to present themselves to the visitors as Aaron Mooy found himself free at the edge of the box and, despite Koren being unmarked on the other side, he chose to try one with his left only for it to be comfortably saved.
The Mariners also had some decent chances in the first term as Isaka Cernak cut in on his right foot only for his effort to swerve away from the net. Josh Kennedy, who opened his scoring account for City last week, also could have put one of his chances away. As expected, he was a threat from corners as the ball met him twice only for the headed attempts to fly over the bar and subsequently kept out by Reddy before Kisnorbo missed the rebound into practically an open net.
The half ended and the fans knew that these missed opportunities would come back to haunt us as they so often do. The team showed very little in the second half which is a reflection on our manager. The importance of the next few games that will define our season, and incidentally decide if we make the finals, should have reminded the players that they needed to play with more aggression and eagerness and take all three points from Gosford. Instead, the players acted completely opposite to that.
A poor second half by City allowed the Mariners to get forward and cause trouble. One major event for our side in the half was the debut of 23-year-old French injury replacement signing – Harry Novillo. He appeared very confident on the ball and wasn’t afraid to beat defenders and have a go. He almost sparked the side’s revival but it wasn’t to be. Eventually, the home side broke the deadlock through a free kick scored by Fabio Ferreira.
City did not seem to be desperate enough to get back into the game as the heads started to drop. Poor decision making on the ball led to costly mistakes. However, a major chance fell to substitute Iain Ramsay right at the death as the ball fell to him at the back post only for Liam Reddy once again to pull off a remarkable save.
The final whistle was blown and it was another terrible performance dished out by Melbourne City. Central Coast were able to edge out the visitors and take all three points once again. Hope for the finals is almost lost for City fans; not because of the predicament on the table but due to our tendency to fail in matches that should very easily be won. A midweek game away to Western Sydney follows before returning to AAMI Park next Saturday against Newcastle Jets.