March 01, 2015 10:04:51 UK
Central Mariners coach Phil Moss said a desire for victory took priority over club captain John Hutchinson’s personal landmark in his side’s 0-0 draw against Newcastle Jets.
Hutchinson was set to equal Matt Thompson’s A-League record of 221 appearances in the F3 derby, but instead was left on the bench.
Moss sent on Glen Trifiro and Josh Bingham in the second half in search of a winner against the struggling Jets and opted not to introduce Hutchinson.
I’ve had a quiet word with Hutch and he’s all about the team, not himself, and he took the decision on the chin.
The former Malta international and Perth keeper Danny Vukovic, who moved joint-second with Hutchinson by playing in his side’s draw with Brisbane Roar, are now both expected to claim a share of the record next weekend.
Central Coast are 2.62 to win their next game against Melbourne City, who are 2.62 with the draw 3.40.
Hutchinson had spoken last week of his desire to notch a victory in his final derby against the Jets – he is to retire at the end of the season.
Moss said: “You always wrestle with trying not to be emotional about these decisions, and I would’ve loved to have given ‘Hutch’ some game time tonight, but obviously the game was in the balance and I brought on three attacking players to try to seize that big moment.
“I’ve had a quiet word with Hutch and he’s all about the team, not himself, and he took the decision on the chin.”
The Mariners had the better of the chances in the Hunter Stadium stalemate, forcing some excellent saves out of Jets keeper Ben Kennedy.
But there was controversy at the other end when Mitch Cooper was denied a goal for the hosts. His fierce drive from the edge of the area crashed off the underside of the bar and the ball bounced on the goal-line before keeper Liam Reddy got up to make the save.
Referee Adam Fielding waved away Newcastle’s appeals for a goal and TV replays were inconclusive.
Moss said: “In this day and age with technology I just don’t understand why we don’t use it.”
The Mariners are 7.00 to beat Melbourne City 1-0.
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