North Queensland Fury 0-1 Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners stayed third on the A-League ladder after beating third-last North Queensland Fury 1-0 away at Dairy Farmers Stadium in Townsville tonight.
The Mariners are 4 points adrift of 2nd-placed Adelaide United and 5 behind leaders Brisbane Roar.
It was the Fury’s second successive home defeat.
They were denied a clear penalty in the 79th minute when Mariners goalkeeper Matt Ryan brought down David Williams, but referee Gerard Parsons waved play on.
The visitors dominated the opening half and centre-back Patrick Zwaanswijk headed them in front from a corner in the 36th minute.
The Mariners should have been in front as early as the opening minute, however, when Michael McGlinchey blazed wide from a perfect cross from the left by Daniel McBreen.
Williams was the best performer for Fury and went close in the 41st minute with a long-range effort that veered just wide of the right-hand post.
Williams had another chance in the 70th minute, but his shot flew centimetres over the bar.
Ryan came to the Mariners’ rescue in the 80th minute, diving to his left to claw away a superb half-volley by Isaka Cernak.
The Fury lived up to their name after the penalty refusal and Mark Hughes and Dyron Daal were both booked within two minutes of each other in the final four minutes.
Their frustration was already evident earlier when Ufuk Talay was booked in the 75th minute shortly after coming on as a substitute.
North Queensland Fury: Pasfield - Storey (McDonald 52), Malik, Hughes, Kilian (Talay 63) - Williams, Grossman, Edds, Daal - Sseppuya (Cernak 46), Payne [Substitute not used: Usai]
Booked: Talay 75, Hughes 86, Daal 88
Central Coast Mariners: Ryan - Wilkinson, Doig, Zwaanswijk, Rose - Griffiths, McGlinchey, Bozanic (Lewis 69), Amini (Hutchinson 56) - Simon, McBreen (Kwasnik 82) [Substitute not used: Henderson]
Goals: Zwaanswijk 36
Ref: G Parsons