McGlinchey will play his final game for the Mariners on Sunday joining former coach Graham Arnold at J-League club Vegalta Sendai on a season-long loan
Played 10 – Win: Mariners 7, Heart 1, Draws 2
Heart 2-2 Mariners, October 19, 2013
Past five matches:
Central Coast Mariners returned to the winners' list thanks to Michael McGlinchey's 96th-minute strike on New Year's Eve. The New Zealand international found the back of the net in injury-time to lift Central Coast to a 2-1 win at home to Perth Glory. The match was shrouded in controversy, however, after Glory skipper Jacob Burns saw red for a second bookable offence. Victory ensured Phil Moss' men ended the year on a positive note, while consolidating fourth spot ahead of rivals Newcastle Jets, who are one point adrift.
It was another eventful week for cellar-dwellers Melbourne Heart after coach John Aloisi was relieved of his duties following the club's 1-0 loss to Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park. The loss, Heart's eight of the season, extended their winless start to the season after 12 rounds. Heart have also gone a total of 17 games without a victory. Aloisi, who claimed just eight wins in 39 games in charge, was replaced by Dutchman John van 't Schip on an interim basis. Van 't Schip was the club's inaugural coach for the 2010-11 campaign before departing the following season.
The big issue:
Mariners – Central Coast have failed to win back-to-back games this season. The Mariners have accounted for Perth Glory, Adelaide United, Wellington Phoenix and Sydney FC but are yet to back up winning performances. Another issue for the reigning champions is the absence of Marcos Flores, who is facing an extended spell on the sidelines with a knee injury.
Heart – It's simple. Heart, who are nine points adrift at the foot of the table, need wins and fast. Interim coach van 't Schip has boldy targeted the A-League finals but wins are needed if they are to climb the ladder. Not only are Heart now 17 games without victory, their winless streak away from home stands at 19 games - a record for the competition.
The game breaker:
Harry Kewell – Heart are still searching for their first win of the season but they have shown some improvement since Kewell's return to the starting XI. The veteran forward, plagued by injury since the opening-round Melbourne derby, has started Heart's two most recent fixtures. And while he is yet to score a goal, his presence alone is enough to inspire his team-mates.
Prediction: Mariners 1-2 Heart
McGlinchey will play his final game for the Mariners before flying to Japan, where he will link up with former coach Graham Arnold at J-League club Vegalta Sendai on a season-long loan. Moss and the entire club will be hoping to send the Kiwi midfielder out a winner but their Melbourne opponents are set to break a few hearts, despite a poor record in Gosford.
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