Tuesday night saw the Central Coast Mariners return to Woden Park, as they took on some of Canberra’s best footballers in the Capital North & South Region Select squads.
Two entertaining matches saw eight goals scored to heat up a fresh evening in the Capital as the Mariners were tested by the local players.
Capital North Region Select 2 (Jordan Tsekenis 16’, 38’) Central Coast Mariners 2 (Roy O’Donovan (p) 18’, Kwabena Appiah 63’)
Two goals to Jordan Tsekenis helped Capital North Region Select hold the Mariners to a 2-2 draw in the first match of the night at Woden Park.
Both sides came out to start the game full of energy, but the Mariners looked to be on top as they held on to the ball.
Looking to play out from the back cost the visitors after 16 minutes, as Jaques Faty lost the ball to Tsekenis just outside his own box, and the Canberraa Olympic forward duly took the chance, chipping Ivan Necveski in goal to give North the lead.
The Mariners took only two minutes go restore parity however, as Roy O’Donovan slotted home coolly from the penalty spot after a foul in the box.
Scores remained locked at the break but didn’t stay that way for long, as Tsekenis again broke the deadlock just three minutes into the second half.
Aisosa Ihegie darted brilliantly down the left, beating his man, before spearing in a low-cross for Tsekenis to tuck home on his first touch.
With the tone of the game not changing much throughout the second half, one could have been forgiven for thinking the North side would hang on for a great victory, but it was not to be.
Just seven minutes from time Kwabena Appiah collected the ball in the box and evaded his defender before slashing the ball home from close range to bring the Mariners level once more.
Capital South Region Select 0 Central Coast Mariners 4 (Josh Bingham 46’, 67’, 70’, 70+2’)
It was all the Josh Bingham show in the second event of the night as the striker bagged all four goals for his team against the South side.
The second match saw a much more physical contest, with neither side willing to give an inch. The Mariners looked the far more likely side to score however as they began to pepper the South Region goal as the first half wore on.
With scores locked goalless at the break, the game needed breaking open, and Mariners youngster Josh Bingham provided the spark 11 minutes into the half.
A superb curling effort from outside the box was enough to break the deadlock and give the Mariners scoreboard ascendancy, before the last 10 minutes saw a Bingham masterclass has he negated the South defence with ease.
With three minutes to go Bingham latched onto a superbly weighted through ball to tuck home on the volley, before completing his hat-trick with a header in the final minute of regulation time.
A fourth came in stoppage time for the second half to complete a sensational night for the No. 9.
It was a fantastic night had at Woden Park despite the freshening conditions, and Capital Football would like to thank all those who turned out to show their support for local football and the Central Coast Mariners.