In their first full hit out of the pre-season the Mariners began brightly, racing to a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes by Qantas Olyroos captain Oliver Bozanic and striker Michael Baird inside the opening 10 minutes.
In fact, it took the Mariners just five minutes to open the scoring in front of a crowd of approximately 300 people.
Having earned a direct free-kick 20 metres from goal, the crafty Bozanic stepped up to curl a sweet left footed shot thundering past Bankstown custodian Zlatko Joseski.
Clearly eager to press home their early advantage, it took the Yellow and Navy only another four minutes to double their lead.
A fluent move down the left side resulted in Baird finding space just outside the box, with the attacker making no mistake in sending his powerful shot into the back of the net.
To their credit, Bankstown managed to plug their defence following their disappointing start to the match, and even began controlling a reasonable portion of possession.
Gaining confidence, the Lions started to craft a number of half chances on home soil, however lacked the final ball or killer touch to claw back their Hyundai A-League opponents.
Matt Simon went nearest to troubling the scorers before the break, slamming a fierce drive against the post after a tidy back-heel by Baird opened the opportunity.
Mariners coach Graham Arnold made two changes at the half time interval, introducing New Zealand international Michael McGlinchey and Brad Porter in place of Baird and Pedj Bojic respectively. These changes saw Troy Hearfield shift from right midfield to the point of the attack.
And it was the Kiwi McGlinchey who would make an almost instant impression on the game, netting the Mariners third with one of his first touches. With the ball cut back from the left side, McGlinchey drifted in
from his post in right midfield to thrash the ball home on the half volley from the edge of the area.
On the bumpy surface the Mariners failed to create many clear-cut chances to extend their lead as the half wore on, however fluent periods of ball progression and maintenance ultimately pleased Arnold.
“I thought we did quite well on the difficult surface,” Arnold said. “Our overall structure was very good, the new players fitted into our structure very well, and there were no injuries. It was a good hit out.”
Having made a host of changes in the second half, including introducing pacey National Youth League player Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, as well as Brad McDonald and Sam Gallagher to the game, Arnold said it was always his intention to give as many players game time as possible.
“It was important in our first game of the pre-season to get as many minutes into the legs of as many players as possible.”
“Kwabena’s got pace, he’s got talent, and he’s just another youngster we’re not afraid to work with or give a chance to.”
Central Coast Mariners 3 (Bozanic 5’, Baird 9’, McGlinchey 49’)
Bankstown City Lions 0
Stadium: Jensen Park, Sefton
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Assistant Referees: Murray Wilson, Adrian Aarndt
Attendance: Approx. 300
The Doug Turnbull Cup was founded in memory of the late Doug Turnbull. A Bankstown football stalwart, Doug was also the brother of Central Coast Mariners Chairman, Peter Turnbull.