Late goal denies Western full points

A HANDFUL of seconds – that is what stood between Western NSW Mariners FC and an upset victory over National Premier Leagues 3 rival Hawkesbury City on Saturday afternoon.

BACK TO EARTH: Matt Hobby and his Mariners team-mates conceded at the death on Saturday to see Hawkesbury able to force a draw. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

BACK TO EARTH: Matt Hobby and his Mariners team-mates conceded at the death on Saturday to see Hawkesbury able to force a draw. Photo: PHIL BLATCH

The Mariners led 2-1 over Hawkesbury as the game headed inside the final minute at Proctor Park, but the visitors snatched a late equaliser off a free kick.

To come so close to toppling a side sitting eight places above it on the ladder was a positive, yet Mariners skipper Adam Scimone knows it could have been better.

”It was pretty disappointing, we had them, but they got us at the end from a set piece,” he said.

“We know that’s pretty much their strength, set pieces, having a lot of tall players, so it was really disappointing. But overall it was a better performance from us, to go from getting shellacked to competing with a top five side.

“We scored early on and honestly we were really dominant. It was one of the times where I really thought that we were one of the better sides.

“Once we scored I think they respected us a lot more … but we really gave them a good crack in that first half.”

It was Scimone who opened scoring in the eighth minute following a strong run from team-mate Milton Dellerba, before the visitors equalised two out from the break via a long-range effort from James Mawein.

The Mariners lifted again and once more took the lead in the 70th minutes as Dellerba slotted home a Jaiden Culbert cross, but Santiago Pallares Palomeque salvaged a draw for Hawkesbury with his late effort.

“Their first goal was a cracker from some 30-odd yards out … that was right at the death of the first half. It was a bit scary to be honest because when teams do that to you, they’ve got the momentum,” Scimone said.

“So we really had to come out firing and we did and we regained the lead. We didn’t stop playing, it was just a hand ball in the corner right at the death and they threw everyone up and got the goal.”