A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0
By Football News
Goalkeeper Liam Reddy pulled off a spectacular penalty save to ensure Central Coast beat Wellington 1-0 at a noisy North Sydney Oval.
Watched by a good festive season crowd of 6,755 at the picturesque ground on Thursday, a new home away from home for the Mariners, Storm Roux's first A-League goal in the 27th minute was enough to separate the teams, although Reddy had a big say on the outcome.
Reddy dived low to his left to block Stein Huysegems' firmly-hit spot-kick just after half-time to preserve the Mariners' one-goal lead after Roux was adjudged to have brought down Manny Muscat in the box.
Wellington wasted another clear-cut chance five minutes from the end when Jeremy Brockie shovelled the ball over the bar with only an empty net in front of him.
Reddy denied the visitors on at least half a dozen other occasions in a real man-of-the-match performance.
Equally impressive was the turn-out for the Mariners' first home game at North Sydney, certain to be a forerunner to further matches at the historic ground in the future.
It was the first top-flight game in North Sydney since Northern Spirit played there in the old National Soccer League days and the teams turned on a decent show to mark the occasion.
The goal came after a period of sustained pressure from the hosts just before the half-hour mark. Ben Sigmund failed to clear Mile Sterjovski's cross from the right and Roux was on hand to slam home his first goal.