Luke Brattan made a return to action, playing 45 minutes in a behind closed doors pre-season friendly win over against the Central Coast Mariners, this afternoon.
The midfielder pulled on a Sky Blue shirt for the first time since rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in November last year, while new signings Jack Rodwell and Alex Parsons made their first appearances.
The game was split into three 45 minute periods to allow both coaches to maximise the use of their squads – with Brattan playing in the final section of the game.
Robert Mak also made his first start for his new club, operating on the opposite wing to Joe Lolley and from the off, Sydney held much of the possession in the contest.
Following an early Mariners chance that was saved well by Andrew Redmayne, Sydney FC turned the screw and dominated the contest, creating multiple chances in front of goal and were unlucky not to be ahead earlier, had it not been for some nice saves from Danny Vukovic in the Mariners net.
Jack Rodwell on debut, playing alongside Alex Wilkinson at the back, marshalled the defence with confidence, using his years of Premier League experience.
Halfway through the opening 45, the Mariners backline was eventually breached when Rhyan Grant sneaked in unmarked at the back post, and his cut-back to Adam Le Fondre inside the six yard box was dispatched past Vukovic.
In the second half, Steve Corica made a number of changes to the side, with Alex Parsons coming on to make his debut.
The Sky Blues almost made it two when Robert Mak cut inside and flashed a shot inches wide of the up-right and moments later. Then Adam Le Fondre was denied by Vukovic.
As the match neared its conclusion, more changes were made by the hosts and after giving plenty of youth a chance, their defensive resilience was enough to see the scoreline remain at 1-0 when the full-time whistle blew.
Following the 90 minutes, an additional 45 minutes was played allowing other players to get more minutes in the legs. This finished 1-1 with Alex Parsons getting on the score-sheet and Luke Brattan playing his first 45 minutes since knee surgery.
Following the match, Head Coach Steve Corica was pleased with his sides’ efforts.
“I’m happy that we could play three 45 minutes and everyone could get some match minutes under their belt”, he said.
“It was great to see Jack [Rodwell] make his first start and see Luke make his return from injury alongside Alex Parsons, who got his first goal for the club.”