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Australian Football: Mariners young guns shoot down Bulls

Central Coast Mariners boss Nick Montgomery saluted the character shown by his young side as they hammered Macarthur 4-2 on Saturday afternoon.

The Mariners are priced at 5/2 to finish in the top six of the A-League and gave their chances of playing finals a boost following the impressive win.

Star players missing

The Mariners had to do without the likes of Oli Bozanic, Beni N'Kololo and Dan Hall and then lost Harry McCarthy after just 18 minutes because of injury.

But they rallied and sealed the win thanks to a brace of goals from Marco Urena and further strikes by Matt Hatch and Noah Smith.

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Montgomery will soon welcome back some key players but says it will be difficult to change a winning side for their next game.

"A massive effort. Well deserved," Montgomery said after the game. "I've got more belief in these young boys, they've got a lot of character. I've worked with them for the last couple of years in the NPL.

"The good thing is we've got a seven-day break and hopefully we should have some boys back in the squad. But when the boys perform like that, I've always been fair, if you put the performances in, you stay in the team."

Poor performance

Bulls boss Ante Milicic was far from happy with his side and made a triple substitution after just 27 minutes when the Mariners took the lead.

"We just thought we looked off the pace," Milicic said. "We looked slow. We were getting done too often in transition and in the end, we just put in a disappointing performance.

"We got it wrong, I got it wrong. That's something that I've got to have a look at, whether it was the selection or what we did during the week."

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