Strong start not enough for Bulls in Mudgee

A dominant first half hour for Macarthur FC couldn’t translate into three points for the Bulls, succumbing to a 4-1 defeat to Central Coast Mariners in Mudgee on Saturday afternoon.

An early goal for Danny De Silva put the Bulls into the lead early in the match before a tough second half saw the Mariners score three without reply to take all three points.

“Its disappointing that we couldn’t make it a 90 minute performance,” Bulls defender Matt Millar said. “It’s about trying to put together a performance that we can make for the full 90 minutes.”

The Bulls stamped their authority early and after just 10 minutes, they found their break through. Daniel Arzani showed why head coach Mile Sterjovski deployed him in a more creative role, supplying a perfectly weighted cross to the near post to pick out the run of De Silva, whose instinctive side-foot finish rattled the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Macarthur were in control of the contest for the first half-hour until the Mariners’ Steve McGarry struck against the run of play. His powerful shot bounced in off the cross bar to make it 1-0.

It didn’t stimy the Bulls’ confidence as De Silva forced a fine save from Central Coast goalkeeper Danny Vukovic two minutes later with a curling shot through a packed box.

Arzani set-up Jake Hollman with a clever through ball but the young midfielder couldn’t convert from an acute angle.

Macarthur goalkeeper Filip Kurto was superb when called into action, denying Jason Cummings and Marco Tulio, together with Tomi Uskok to thwart a double chance. The Polish goalkeeper was even better shortly after when blocking Cummings from point-blank range before an aerobic save thwarted Christian Theoharous’ curling shot from finding the back of the net.

Minutes into the second half, Kurto was beaten by Cummings who made it 2-1 with a close range finish.

The Mariners scored their third with a quick counter attack finished by Marco Tulio before a Cummings penalty sealed the result. A debut for Jesper Weber off the bench was a silver lining for the Bulls as the young winger started his A-League career.

Macarthur hosts Melbourne City at Campbelltown Sports Stadium on Sunday in the club’s Sony Foundation round, which will see the Bulls wearing a one-off jersey with proceeds from the sales helping young Australians in need.