Kaine Sheppard and Dimitri Petratos celebrate the matchwinner. (Ashley Feder/Getty Images
Kaine Sheppard and Dimitri Petratos celebrate the matchwinner. (Ashley Feder/Getty Images

‘Not good enough’: Mariners fed up with VAR

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey declared the inconsistency of officiating "not a good look for the A-League" after his side's frustrating 1-0 loss to Newcastle.

Mulvey questioned the use of the VAR system in not ruling against Newcastle for offside in the lead-up to Kaine Sheppard's 54th-minute winner and for what he believed was a handball in stoppage time at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Sheppard capped a memorable week with a matchwinning goal as the Jets hung on for a 1-0 victory over derby rivals Central Coast.

Sheppard, in just his third start for Newcastle, finished with his left foot in the 54th minute from a Roy O'Donovan cross after Dimi Petratos put him into space.

The 25-year-old former Victorian NPL player had this week signed a one-year contract extension with the club.

 

Kaine Sheppard and Dimitri Petratos celebrate the matchwinner. (Ashley Feder/Getty Images)
Kaine Sheppard and Dimitri Petratos celebrate the matchwinner. (Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

 

It was the Jets' fifth consecutive victory over the Mariners and broke a five-game winless streak in the A-League, lifting the seventh-placed side to 15 points after 15 rounds.

But Mulvey could not hide his frustration, pointing to the offside and handball calls and controversial decisions against his side in recent losses to Wellington and Sydney.

"This is not the first time it's happened for us," Mulvey said.

"The inconsistency is not a good look for the A-League. It's not about Central Coast Mariners, it's what does it looks like for the A-League?

"My understanding is that every ground has cameras on the 18-yard-box to officiate for any kind of VAR discrepancies.

"I've been told on good authority that the camera in Newcastle was taken down two minutes before the incident where the ball was handballed in the box by, I think it was (Nikolai Topor-Stanley), from Jordan Murray's shot.

"Clearly handball from where I was sitting. And surely that is a second look? So I feel very aggrieved for the players tonight because they didn't deserve that result.

"Good luck to Newcastle. It's very difficult for everybody at this time of the year, but that's not good enough."

Mulvey said the review system was "not working".

And he clearly believed his side had copped more bad calls because of their position on the ladder.

The last-placed Mariners came agonisingly close to an equaliser through Jordan Murray in the 63rd and 65th minutes.

Murray's header was just wide before Ivan Vujica deflected his close-range shot over the crossbar with a desperate lunge.

Jonathan Aspropotamitis hit the woodwork with a header for the visitors in the 79th minute before Connor Pain missed his chance off the rebound.

The Jets' best chance for a second goal came with a Petratos free kick in the 88th that Ben Kennedy tipped over the crossbar.

The Mariners came desperately close to earning a point in stoppage time, having two shots on target blocked by defenders.

Neither side were able to mount serious pressure in the first half.

The Jets went closest to scoring when Nikolai Topor-Stanley had a side-footed goal off a Petratos free kick in the 13th minute denied correctly for offside.

Sheppard had a chipped shot cleared close to the goal line by Aspropotamitis a minute later.

 

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