A banner calendar year ended with a home victory for Central Coast Mariners. The 2-1 defeat of Perth Glory on New Years Eve at Bluetongue Stadium capped off the club's most successful year with an A-League championship and a Champions League knockout round appearance in the rearview mirror. The future will be different, or at least dictated by a different cast of characters from those who made most of the 2013 headlines, though Michael McGlinchey played a key role in one of his final games with the Mariners.
McGlinchey, who is off to Japan with Graham Arnold, scored deep in injury-time after Perth's Jacob Burns was sent off, to claim all three points and push the Mariners up to fourth place at year's end. Trent Sainsbury, who later left with a hamstring injury, scored the opener in the 11th minute but was canceled out by Steven McGarry's 84th minute penalty. The Glory, who are still adjusting to their managerial change, looked to have secured a nice away point for Kenny Lowe in his second match in charge. But Burns was ejected after picking up a yellow card for dissent, his second of the match. That gave the Mariners just enough time to bomb forward in the dying moments and saw McGlinchey clean up after Josh Rose's header hit the post.
Burns was incensed after the match and while his automatic one-game ban could well be overturned, the Glory's controversial captain could miss time due to his very public criticism of the referees. Still, the result stands and Perth head into the new year in eighth place. They'll travel to Newcastle to face the Jets at the Hunter Stadium on Saturday while the Mariners will host Melbourne Heart at Bluetongue on Sunday.
CCM Sainsbury 11'
PER McGarry (pen) 84'
CCM McGlinchey 96'
Central Coast Mariners: Reddy; Rose, Anderson (Flores 75'), Sainsbury (Seip 65'), Roux; McGlinchey, Hutchinson, Montgomery, Sterjovski; McBreen, Duke (Simon 87')
Unused substitutes: Pasfield, Fitzgerald
Perth Glory: Vukovic; Woodcock, Clisby, Thwaite, Davies; Sidnei (Cernak 74'), McGarry, Burns, Harold; Makeche (Zahra 55'), De Silva (Edwards 55')
Unused substitutes: Duncan, O'Neill