WITH his team urgently needing points to stay in touch with the top sides, Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna was left fuming after watching his team blow an early lead against the competition’s bottom side yesterday.The Mariners caught North Queensland Fury on the hop with Matt Simon’s first-minute goal but then failed to add to the scoresheet, leaving them with a tally of one goal from their last three games. After missing the chance to take top spot last week, the Mariners now sit fifth, just a point clear of seventh-placed Adelaide and six points behind competition leaders Sydney FC.McKinna’s side held on until well into the second half before a header from Daniel McBreen snatched a point for the visitors.”They didn’t really threaten us that much but the goal was from slow organisation by us at the corner,” McKinna said. ”It was a great delivery and a good header. You can’t argue with that, but we should have been organised quicker.”Despite their early advantage, McKinna was less than convinced by his side’s performance, saying they failed to apply themselves when they ”should have gone on to win the game two- or three-nil”.”I didn’t think we deserved to win that,” he said. ”In the second half we knew they would play the long ball and put some pressure on, but our intensity dropped off. The first 20 minutes was good and then we just slowly backed off. We didn’t pick up many second balls and went flat.”You could see it happening, but we didn’t change things.”By contrast, Fury coach Ian Ferguson paid tribute to his side’s character in digging out a point.”Credit to these boys, they’re absolutely fantastic to work with and they give us their all, every game,” Ferguson said. ”We’re getting a reputation for being competitive, workmanlike but they can play as well, as you could see in the second half.”Fury captain Robbie Fowler shared the sentiment, saying it was evidence of strong team spirit.”It shows we’re fighting for each other,” he said. ”We’re not kidding ourselves – we’d like to turn these draws into wins but if you can’t get that, draws are the next best thing.”
Nanjing Night Net