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03 Dec 2021 | 04:26 | Football

Grit, determination and match fitness has seen A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners dent the Wollongong Wolves FFA Cup hopes after defeating the South Coast side 2-1 at WIN Stadium albeit playing with ten men for the majority of the match on a balmy Wednesday evening.

Nick Montgomery’s men dug deep as early as the 20th minute when Mariners keeper Mark Birighitti was given his marching orders for a shoulder charge on Wolves defender Nick Littler after a heavy collision in the box.

From the resulting incident, Luke Wilkshire’s troops were given a penalty much to the delight of the vocal home crowd which Lachlan Scott calmly dispatched as the Wolves dreamt of a Quarter-Final spot.

As the saying goes in Football, you can never rest easy with a 1-0 scoreline and although the Wolves had the one-man advantage, it was the Mariners who were causing all the problems.

Going into the break at 1-0, Montgomery’s men came out hungrier in the second half and their class and match fitness levels showed when the club’s Brazilian import Moresche scored the equaliser in the 64th minute before substitute Harry McCarthy headed home in the 81st minute which gifted the Mariners a precious FFA Cup Quarter-Final spot.

Wilkshire’s troops battled well and can be proud of themselves for a good showing but will be disappointed at missing out on a golden opportunity in playing Quarter-Finals football in the FFA Cup for the very first time.