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 By AAP

Central Coast will 'soldier on' without signing a striker - Paul Okon

A strong first-half effort from Western Sydney helped the Wanderers to a 2-1 victory over the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

Central Coast coach Paul Okon will place his faith in his band of low scoring forwards, after the Mariners failed to land a proven striker in the January transfer window.

The ninth-placed Mariners have scored a league-low 19 goals from as many games.

Blake Powell is their top scorer with four, with no other Mariner netting more than two.

In January, they released two forwards, with Kwabena Appiah moving to South Korea and Spaniard Asdrubal departing for personal reasons.

Their one forward signing in January was former youth international Peter Skapetis from Brisbane Roar.

Skapetis scored with his first touch in the 2-1 home loss to Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday.

But the Mariners lacked the financial clout to tempt more established strikers to the Central Coast.

"We tried really hard, but unfortunately when it comes time to find out how much the nines want, the numbers just didn't stack up," Okon said.

"We have six attackers at this football club, and we'll soldier on with those six attackers.

"We do feel that we have people that can find the back of the net.

"But we know that's an area that all season we have been disappointing in."

Daniel De Silva
Mariners playmaker Daniel De Silva could not inspire his side in their 2-1 loss to the Wanderers on Sunday.

While the Mariners had several shots from the edge of the box on Sunday, they struggled to create close-range chances.

The shortage of penetrating crosses and passes and poor decision making in their attacking third has been a recurring problem for Central Coast.

Several times on Sunday, Andrew Hoole got into threatening positions but either didn't shoot, was dispossessed or took the wrong option.

"Maybe at times he could have pulled the trigger, or come up with a better solution and maybe he's a little bit low on confidence," Okon said of Hoole.

"But I thought Hooley's second half he was more in the game and he always looked like a threat, so it's something that he needs to keep working at, because the good thing is that he finds himself in those areas.

"We've spoken about all season in that final third, it's coming up with the better options."

Wanderers, who have scored just one more goal than the Mariners, gave a second-half debut off the bench to Socceroos forward Chris Ikonomidis.

"He had just the one training session with the group, he was able to play the 45 minutes and I think his performance was very good," Wanderers coach Josep Gombau said.

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