Not quite plain sailing
In the lead up to Thursday night’s match against the Central Coast Mariners, Ernie Merrick clearly articulated that a win was what the Victory needed in order to still have any chance of a top two finish. So I guess you can say with some assurance after the 2-2 draw that any slim chance we had of the double chance disappeared out the proverbial window.
Based on the first half performance from the Victory it looked like Merrick’s motivational skills were simply not working. For the most part, the team looked insipid, disinterested and lacklustre. In fact, it looked a lot like the team that rocked up again Perth Glory the week before. Apart from some neat interchanges between Angulo and Thompson there was very little to write home about. Add to that we also copped a goal to a typical Central Coast sucker punch.
The second half came and it appeared to be more of the same until BANG, a cheeky Vargas back heel and sumptuous Carlos Hernandez free kick within three minutes of each other saw the confidence return to both the players and the fans. For a good period of time this was the team we all know and love and were tearing the Mariners to shreds. If it wasn’t for some poor finishing we could have knocked in a few more.
And it was that profligacy in front of goal that would ultimately cost us all three points as corner that shouldn’t have been found it’s way across the goal line and the hearts of many Victory fans were broken. What looked like it good have been a season turning win just turned out to be like many other games this year and in the process put a serious dent in what is left of our confidence.
It was good to see Merrick give Angulo his second start in succession, something that has never happened before and the Costa Rican is showing signs that the extended game time is doing wonders as he put in what I would consider a best on ground performance. For his confidence and that of the team I can only hope that Merrick sees fit to give him an extended run and that he also puts one of his many chances in the back of the net.
I must admit after the game a red mist descended over my eyes and it was probably a good thing that I didn’t have access to twitter let alone this blog in the minutes after the match had concluded. This was mainly to do with the pathetic display of refereeing that Gerard Parsons again displayed. I have already put forward my thoughts on the poor excuse for a referee a while back and that there is no need to repeat it here but I dread the next time he is in charge of a Victory game.
So now with rather an extended break at hand and a little over half the season gone it provides the team with a much needed opportunity to rest tired bodies and minds and make a concerted push for the finals when they return.