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Australian Football: Mariners happy to take a point

Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery was more than happy to take a point away from their trip to Perth after admitting they got lucky at HBF Park.

The Mariners are priced at 9/2 to finish in the top six of the A-League and the point they picked up in the west could turn out to be a crucial one.

Unacceptable first-half

Montgomery was far from happy with his side's performance in the first-half and claimed it was the worst they have played all season.

They managed to create a couple of early chances when Perth goalkeeper Brad Jones denied Beni Nkololo and Noah Smith but after that it was all one-way traffic.

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The Mariners have goalkeeper Mark Birighitti to thank for keeping the scores level after he pulled off a fine penalty save to deny Bruno Fornaroli.

The woodwork also came to the rescue after Perth midfielder Giordano Colli rattled it with a well-taken free-kick.

The point keeps the Mariners in eighth spot on the A-League ladder as they sit five points adrift of the top six and a place in finals.

Big improvement needed

There is work to do to get there and Montgomery knows his side will need to improve dramatically.

"That was probably our worst performance of the season," Montgomery said after the game. "I told the boys at half-time, 'The good thing is we can't play any worse than we just played'.

"We were really leggy, very sloppy. No excuses. It was unacceptable. I'm happy to come away with a point, because so many times this year we've been the better team and come away with nothing."

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