Macarthur FC sail home with last gasp goal from Jed Drew

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Macarthur FC scored a vital win when they defeated the Central Coast Mariners 3-2 in Gosford yesterday afternoon.

With the A-League going into a four week World Cup break, the Bulls needed victory to boost their confidence after some poor recent performances.

Heading into the round six clash with the Mariners, the Bulls had not won for three weeks, recording a draw and two defeats on the trot.

Even worse, The Bulls had not won on the road in their past 10 away games.

A 1-0 win over Glory in Perth was the last time they got the chocolates in an away match.

And, finally, they were heading into the Gosford clash yesterday as underdogs.

After five rounds, the Mariners were fourth on the ladder, while the Bulls slumped to third last following their 4-1 loss to Phoenix a week ago.

But statistics reflect the past so can only explain so much of what’s to come.

And when El Hassan Toure pounced on a goalkeeping error from the Mariners to give Macarthur a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute those stats were suddenly looking even less reliable.

In the 30th minute the home side were reduced to 10 men when one of their defenders was shown a red card after bringing down Lachie Rose, who was chasing a through ball and with only the keeper ahead of him.

The Mariners did improve after that, as always happens when a team loses a man early, but the Bulls held on to go to the break leading 1-0.

Two minutes into the second stanza the Bulls won a corner, which was taken by captain for the day Craig Noone.

Defender Jonathon Aspropotamitis rose higher than anyone to head the ball into the net and the Bulls were leading 2-0.

It was “Aspro’s’’ first ever A-League goal in 101 games, which explains the big man’s special celebrations after the ball hit the net.

The game then returned to its normal rhythm, with the two sides exchanging attacking raids for the next 14 minutes.

Macarthur FC goalie Nick Suman in action yesterday; (top) goalscorer Jed Drew.

But this rhythm was thrown out the window when the referee found two penalties in two minutes against the Bulls; the first 61 minutes in.

Socceroo Jason Cummings had his attempt saved by Bulls keeper Nick Suman, the 22 year old starting his first game for the club.

He couldn’t keep out Garang Guol’s thunderbolt, so it was 2-1 to the Bulls, but the young Socceroo wasn’t done yet.

In the 72nd minute this whiz kid took on the Bulls defence, went almost to the byline on the right and somehow smashed the ball past the keeper and up into the roof of the net.

With 20 minutes still to go, and Guol looking in a mood to score a hat-trick, things were looking a little grim for the Bulls, despite being up against 10 men.

But in the last minute of injury time, another young gun, Jed Drew, basically said, what you do Garang I can do as well, chasing a long ball down to the right and once close enough slotted it past the keeper for a big 3-2 Bulls victory.

Or as coach Dwight Yorke said after the match: “This win is huge for us.’’

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