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Jets beat Mariners 4-2 in A-League derby

NZN 9/04/2016 By Emma Kemp

Newcastle denied Luis Garcia a triumphant A-League farewell from Gosford, sending the Spanish great and his Central Coast side to a 4-2 defeat in Saturday's derby.

Ryan Kitto was the star with three assists, as Morten Nordstrand scored a brace and Enver Alivodic and Mateo Poljak one goal apiece, to hammer the final nail in the Mariners' coffin.

"I spoke to the group about our ambition this week and it was to score loads of goals," Jets coach Scott Miller said.

"I threw it down their throat before the game and again at halftime."

The result confirmed the Mariners' first wooden spoon, after a sorry season that yielded just 13 points and three wins.

A horde of travelling Jets supporters was there to see it, jovial as they watched Miller's improved team tear into their hosts and stop them salvaging any final-round pride.

The Mariners, though spirited, did themselves no favours, their defence a sieve that allowed their opponents to pour through and score in lightning-quick time.

Just 37 seconds after kick-off, goalkeeper Paul Izzo raced out of his box to stop a long ball only to collide heavily with Kitto, who whipped in a cross for Nordstrand to head home.

A concussed Izzo was promptly removed from play and replaced by 19-year-old Adam Pearce.

It was the first of three fine crosses for Kitto, the youngster capitalising on Leonardo's creativity to set up for Alivodic to prod home.

He was at it again in the second half, catching Harry Ascroft out of position in the 54th minute and slipping in another delivery for former Danish international Nordstrand.

That third goal smothered a Mariners comeback which, until that point, had been well on track in a more-even second half.

After Ben Kantarovski was penalised for hand ball, Fabio Ferreira converted cleanly to make it 2-1 before Roy O'Donovan nearly equalised with a long-range bullet that hit the crossbar.

Fading hope was rekindled with 15 minutes to go as Garcia, playing his final match for the club, lifted a deft ball into the box for O'Donovan to clinically head into the back corner.

But Poljak extinguished it with one swift blow, gathering at the top of the box for a razzle-dazzle finish that gave Pearce no chance.

"Had we nicked another one when we did have momentum, then who knows?" Mariners coach Tony Walmsley said.

"But it wasn't a good enough defensive display to really warrant getting the result we were after."

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