VAR controversy leaves Mulvey fuming

Mariners' Josh Nesbit evades Newcastle's Johnny Koutroumbis (left) in his side's A-League defeat.
Mariners' Josh Nesbit evades Newcastle's Johnny Koutroumbis (left) in his side's A-League defeat.

Central Coast coach Mike Mulvey declared the inconsistency of officiating "not a good look for the A-League" after his side's frustrating 1-0 loss to Newcastle.

Mulvey questioned the use of the VAR system in not ruling against Newcastle for offside in the lead-up to Kaine Sheppard's 54th-minute winner and for what he believed was a handball in stoppage time on Wednesday at McDonald Jones Stadium in round 15.

The last-placed Mariners, trying to avoid back-to-back wooden spoons, could consider themselves unlucky after peppering the Jets goal without success.

The woodwork and desperate goalmouth defence ensured the Jets, seventh on 15 points, sealed a much-needed win and left Central Coast languishing on six.

Mulvey could not hide his frustration, pointing to the offside and handball calls and controversial decisions against his side in recent losses to Wellington and Sydney.

"This is not the first time it's happened for us," Mulvey said.

"The inconsistency is not a good look for the A-League. It's not about Central Coast Mariners, it's what does it looks like for the A-League?

"My understanding is that every ground has cameras on the 18-yard-box to officiate for any kind of VAR discrepancies.

"I've been told on good authority that the camera in Newcastle was taken down two minutes before the incident where the ball was handballed in the box by, I think it was [Nikolai Topor-Stanley], from Jordan Murray's shot.

"Clearly handball from where I was sitting. And surely that is a second look? So I feel very aggrieved for the players tonight because they didn't deserve that result.

"Good luck to Newcastle. It's very difficult for everybody at this time of the year, but that's not good enough."

In what has become a common theme this season from coaches, Mulvey said the review system was "not working". And he clearly believed his side had coped more bad calls because of their position on the ladder.

"You know what. Let's keep beating the bottom team," he said.

"Let's keep beating them with a bat and say, 'No, you don't get that, you don't get, you don't get that'. But my players will keep turning up, and we'll keep having a go. I'm very proud of them tonight. I thought they had a fantastic effort.

"The league needs to have a look at itself because you can't say it's a shame, it brings shame to the league, but it does need sorting out. It's not good enough."

The Mariners are away to Adelaide, and Newcastle to Perth, on Sunday.

Australian Associated Press