Melbourne City took a point from its final away trip of the regular season, finishing 1-1 against Central Coast in Gosford on Saturday evening.
Jordan Bos’ second goal of the season had City ahead midway through the second half before a deflected Josh Nisbet shot was enough for the hosts to ensure the points were split.
This result means City is now two points away from securing a third consecutive Premiers Plate with two matches to play.
Rado Vidosic stuck with the same starting XI from his team’s back-to-back wins over Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix.
The only change to the matchday squad came on the bench, with captain Scott Jamieson returning from suspension.
Starting XI: 1. Tom GLOVER (GK), 25. Callum TALBOT, 22. Curtis GOOD, 6. Thomas LAM, 38. Jordon BOS, 13. Aiden O’NEILL, 14. Valon BERISHA, 10. Florin BERENGUER, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 23. Marco TILIO, 9. Jamie MACLAREN (C).
Substitutes: 33. Matthew SUTTON (GK), 2. Scott GALLOWAY, 3. Scott JAMIESON, 4. Nuno REIS, 18. Jordon HALL, 35. Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 37. Max CAPUTO.
A long-range Brian Kaltak strike after just four minutes fizzed past the upright and a full-stretch Tom Glover, ensuring City was on high alert from the early stages.
Both teams looked to get up the pitch and attack, with City looking to go forward more in transition than the usual build-up possession play we’re accustomed to seeing.
Our best chance of the first half came just before the half-hour mark, falling to Jamie Maclaren who was high on confidence following last week’s brace.
An inch-perfect Valon Berisha cross found the head of our number nine, but Danny Vukovic reacted in a split second to pull off a fantastic save and deny us the lead.
It was Glover’s turn less than ten minutes later, getting down quickly to his left to deny Mariners winger Beni Nkololo with an important finger-tip save.
Glover was then immediately back in the thick of things when the second half began, this time around denying Jason Cummings’ close-range header with a great reflex stop.
It took a moment of magic to break the deadlock, our newest Socceroo, Jordan Bos, the man to step up and deliver in the 63rd minute.
A goal not too dissimilar from his first of the season, the left-back cut inside before unleashing a rocket of a right-footed strike into the far top corner to give us a 1-0 lead.
That lead would last less than 15 minutes though, with a stroke of misfortunate seeing the Mariners back into the game.
Josh Nisbett dribbled into the area and shot at goal, but Nuno Reis’ attempted block would only deflect the ball past a haplessly diving Glover and into the back of the net.
Looking to wrap up the Premiers Plate at the first possible opportunity, City was still hot on the attack deep into stoppage time.
Bos almost had his second of the night, dribbling around the edge of the box and when no passing options presented, firing a lethal strike at goal in the 93rd which forced Vukovic into another great save.
Maclaren was then almost the hero on his 200th appearance in the competition, using some quick feet to beat Kaltak before he saw his last-gasp effort also denied by Vukovic.
Following the result, City is now just two points away from mathematically securing the Premiership.
This could potentially happen on Sunday should Adelaide drop points at home to Western United but if that’s not the case, we’ll next have the chance to create history when we face that same opponent next Saturday night.