Finding the back-of-the-net is something of a rarity for Adelaide United defender Michael Marrone.
So when he opened the scoring in the 3-1 win against Wellington Phoenix last Sunday, you could understand why the veteran defender cherished the moment more than most.
It was just the 32-year-old’s third career goal in 164 appearances in all competitions for the Reds and first in the Hyundai A-League since Boxing Day 2015, ironically also occurring against the Phoenix.
Playing as an auxiliary centre-back due to the absence of Jordan Elsey through injury, Marrone expertly towered over his marker to head home Craig Goodwin’s corner.
“I’m getting older and I think just appreciate the little things a bit more,” Marrone said to reporters.
“To score a goal means a bit more especially being at the Club for five or six years again and being in my hometown it’s just a bit more special.”
The Reds have now won two games on the bounce and Marrone feels the team has put their previous five-match slump behind them.
“I think the last two games we’ve started to play a bit better football and have been a lot more competitive,”
“And if we can carry that leading into Finals I think we’ll be a chance.”
United’s attention turns to their Round 25 away meeting with Melbourne City on Saturday.
Adelaide have not beaten them in their last six attempts, and Marrone knows claiming the three points will allow them to remain in the hunt for fourth spot.
“From what I’ve seen they’re very good in terms of defending in numbers and shape,” he said, when analysing City’s strengths.
“And they make it compact and make it difficult, and when they’ve got the ball they can produce something out of nothing because they’ve got a couple of special players.
“We’re just going to have to be compact ourselves and I think the main thing is to not concede and we’ll get our chances.
“Like last game if we can get some balls on the counter to the wide players and get good deliveries into the box we’re a chance.”
Adelaide United face Melbourne City in Round 25 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Saturday, 13 April at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACST. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App and Kayo Sports.