After the Mariners went ahead through a Connor Pain stunner, Victory relied on a brilliant Leroy George free kick to draw level.

The Dutchman clearly grasped the league’s set piece mantle back from Melbourne City’s Ross McCormack, but despite his best efforts, the rest of his side looked lacklustre.

Ultimately, neither team needed a draw. Kevin Muscat’s had a terrible start to the season by Victory’s high standards, while Paul Okon’s still searching for a win after talking up his side’s chances this season.

If anything, the Mariners deserved the spoils.

Melbourne had the run of proceedings in the first half, but Central Coast showed greater desire, flair and originality, and ultimately, had numerous chances to put the game away.

 

Melbourne Victory defender Rhys Williams was surprisingly positive after the match. 

"Yeah it was tough," he said. "But they're a good side and they put a lot of pressure on us. I thought we defended alright and we could have snatched it.

"I don’t think anyone scores tap ins against us, they're all good goals, but we know we need to be better and we’ll improve.

"We’re almost there, its just the fine lines that we need to adjust."

Although it's unusual to hear a Victory player talk about snatching it from the Mariners as if it's a positive, Central Coast have shown a lot more this season than their position on the table suggests.

One of their standouts, Danny De Silva, seemed slightly more disappointed with the result.

"I think we played really well and we had very good chances but this is football, and this is us at the moment," he said.

"I think we should have won the game, but we’re happy we didn’t lose and we’ll move on to next week.

"It was very hard for them to pass through us and I think we did very well tonight.

"It's super frustrating, especially when you hit the post on the 85th minute, but it just wasn’t meant to be."