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Feb, 18, 2012

Pasfield stars for Mariners in A-League

Back-up Central Coast goalkeeper Justin Pasfield rewarded coach Graham Arnold's faith in him with two crucial saves in his team's 2-0 win over fellow A-League high-fliers Wellington Phoenix.

With a heavy schedule still to come, including the opening group games of the Asian Champions League, those saves could prove very valuable for the table-topping Mariners.

And Pasfield was glad to have played an important role for his team, having looked more comfortable each week since taking over the starting position when star keeper Mat Ryan was called away to Olyroos duty three weeks ago.

His first game back was a baptism of fire away against Brisbane Roar when the Mariners' club record unbeaten streak of 16 matches was broken.

It was a difficult return for a player lacking quality match time.

"It was tough after being out for eight games and going into a game like that was a lot quicker than I thought," said Pasfield.

"I'm finding my feet. Last week was an improvement and today was an improvement again.

Pasfield was grateful for a timely reminder from goalkeeping coach John Crawley during the Phoenix match.

"At halftime, JC (Crawley) said to me make sure you keep your head screwed on as you're going to have to make a save at a crucial time," said Pasfield.

"It was a good result for us as a team.

"It's been good for my confidence to keep a clean sheet and to get the win at home.

"We've got two tough games against the Gold Coast and Melbourne Heart coming up and, as a team, we are really looking forward to them.

Pasfield remains philosophical about the life of a professional goalkeeper, believing that it is just part of the game to bide your time.

"You have to wait your turn, and Mat being away was a good opportunity for me to come in.

"There are still parts of my game that I'm not happy with and now I have the chance to go back and work on those things at training."

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