In the first half the only action was Allsopp giving Mrjda a wedgie for a corner.
The lack of play making showed for both sides. While CCM had the better of play, apart from one Simon sky from right in front, they could not get through the Melbourne defence.
Kevin Muscat was at his devious and brutal best, baiting the Mariners, hitting Simon in the nuts, using his elbow where possible to get away with it.
The magic of the night, or perhaps highlighting the lack of imagination of both sides, was the substitution to Hernandes in the 60s. He made an immediate impact and made Melbourne look dangerous in a way that Billy Celeski had made them look tame. By 67 minutes Hernandes released Archie Thompson to the left and Archie did his stuff out-running the CCM defenders and crossing for an Allsopp tap in. A few minutes later Hernandes won a free kick just outside the box. Lawry McKinna had his Hernandes, Cerceras ready to come but he had to wait. Hernandes put the ball through the wall and through keeper Vukovic's legs - oh dear. Soon after Hernandes' domination of the mid-field led to Thompson being released - heading himself on and side tapping with his lime green boots past the hapless CCM defence.
The only other two actions of the game where a single handed almost goal from Cerceras. And Dean Heffernan deciding to elbow Muscat in the head and getting himself sent off. Off the ball (which was out and waiting for a corner on the other side of the pitch) madness which may have been some of sought of get square - Muscat wasn't complaining.
McKinna waiting too long to bring Caceras and Petrovski on. Nik Mrjda just doesn't look up to the striker role. This is primarily because in this game, and others we have seen, he wants to score himself instead of finding his team-mates in better positions. I'd say he did this 3 times in this this game.
CCM's finals berth is now on the line and eyed by both Sydney and Wellington. CCM's next game is against Adelaide.