A SET of excellent saves from the opposing goalkeeper and a lacklustre second half cost Western NSW Mariners FC in their NSW National Premier Leagues 3 clash on Saturday.
Hawkesbury City FC saw off a strong opening term from the visiting Mariners to eventually run home 3-1 winners at David Bertenshaw Field.
Two on-target strikes from the Mariners’ Andrew Smith and Adam Scimone in the first half were blocked by Hawkesbury’s Daniel Schwarzer, brother of long-time Socceroos stopper Mark.
With the scores still locked at nil-all during the break the opportunity was still there for the Mariners to ruin the hosts’ night.
It didn’t eventuate.
Hawkesbury found the lead off a corner shortly after the break and 10 minutes later Santiago Pallares Palomeque had a brace for the hosts.
Mariners’ Milton Dellerba got on the end of a 1-2 pass with Scimone through the Hawkesbury defence and finished the play in acrobatic fashion to bring the deficit back to one.
However, the hopes of any points for the visitors were dashed when a late defensive error allowed Hawkesbury’s Ben Gray a one-on-one opportunity against Mariners goalkeeper Brock Logan.
Gray slotted the chance into the back of the net and condemned the Mariners to their fourth loss in six matches.
Mariners have conceded 16 goals in those games.
“In the first half we were really dominant. Smithy had a really good shot which was a bomb from about 30 metres out, but their ‘keeper is Mark Schwarzer’s brother, and there’s some good skills there,” Mariners captain Scimone said.
“There was nothing that Hawkesbury did to us that I thought we couldn’t handle.
“It’s disappointing because at half-time I thought we had the better chances so far, but after that it was like a switch was turned off for us.”
Scimone said the Western men were forced to change things up late in the second half but it didn’t reap the rewards.
“We were throwing a lot of bodies forward in the box and playing with three at the back, but we ended up giving them that third goal,” he said.
“It was a great first half but the game got away from us. That’s something that’s been happening a bit recently and we’ve got to get it out of our system.”
Western will return home this Saturday for a match at Proctor Park against Gladesville Ryde Magic.