Central Coast Mariners began their A-League campaign with a 2-1 win away at rivals Newcastle Jets in Sunday’s double-header at McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Mariners finished third last season before failing to advance to the semi-finals in the post-season but have ended the first round of 2021-22 fixtures on top of the table.
Joshua Nisbet squeezed a low finish past Newcastle goalkeeper Jack Duncan shortly after half-time, and a second away goal soon followed through Jacob Farrell’s thumping header.
Angus Thurgate’s superb cross teed up substitute Valentino Yuel 12 minutes from time to set up a tense finish, but the Jets could not recover a first point of the season, slipping to a second consecutive home defeat in the F3 derby for the first time in A-League history.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) November 21, 2021
The spoils were then shared between Macarthur and Wellington Phoenix in a 1-1 draw that extended the nominal away side’s record unbeaten run to 12 matches.
Macarthur pipped their opponents to a Finals place by a single point last term, but they were forced to play in Newcastle due to the poor standard of their Campbelltown Stadium pitch and then trailed to Gary Hooper’s penalty midway through the first half.
Lachlam Rose’s 61st-minute finish beat Oliver Sail to get Macarthur back on terms, although there were grateful to Tomislav Uskok for a goal-line clearance in the closing stages.
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