The visitors ended their poor run of form in Western Australia but left it late to do so, sealing a victory on debut for new head coach Phil Moss
An injury-time goal to forward Mitchell Duke handed the Mariners their first win in Perth in four seasons and ensured the new era under Graham Arnold's former assistant began on the best possible note.
Glory played out the final 20 minutes with just 10 men after marquee signing William Gallas and left-back Scott Jamieson potentially suffered serious leg injuries.
Former France international Gallas, in his first start for Perth, was forced off with a suspected calf injury after just 32 minutes.
But the biggest blow came when Jamieson had to be carried from the pitch on a stretcher midway through the second half after landing awkwardly on the pitch following an aerial contest. It is understood Jamieson has ruptured his Achilles tendon.
Glory had already made their three substitutes for the evening when Jamieson was taken off.
It looked as though the home side was going to hold on for a draw after Jamie Maclaren's first-half goal was cancelled out Michael McGlinchey just 10 minutes later.
The Mariners also suffered an injury blow early in the often spiteful match when veteran midfielder Nick Montgomery hobbled off the pitch with a right leg injury after just seven minutes.
Gallas had the crowd on their feet when he fended off two opponents to dribble the ball forward and then almost scored one of the goals of the season, but his bicycle kick from Maclaren's cross sailed narrowly over the crossbar.
Perth goalkeeper Danny Vukovic almost gifted Central Coast the opening goal minutes later when he spilled an attempt from McGlinchey, but fortunately was able to deflect Matt Simon's subsequent follow-up shot.
Maclaren then out-sprinted Mariners defender Trent Sainsbury after a brilliant pass from Jamieson and effortlessly chipped the ball over a hapless Liam Reddy to hand Glory the early break.
But things soured in a matter of minutes for Glory when Gallas hobbled from the pitch and Central Coast levelled the score through McGlinchey, who hammered the ball into the back of the net after Michael Thwaite failed to clear the penalty area.
McGlinchey almost gave the Mariners the lead a few minutes later, but some desperate defending from Cameron Edwards denied the New Zealand international from scoring his second of the night.
Central Coast captain John Hutchinson was lucky not to have been sent off after appearing to kick away Burns following a rough challenge from the Glory skipper just outside the penalty area.
A heated exchange between players from both sides followed before referee Adam Kersey pulled Hutchinson and showed him a yellow card.
Despite the booking, the Mariners retained the free kick and McGlinchey again went agonisingly close to adding to his personal tally by hitting the left goal post from the set play.
Reddy was kept busy in the opening minutes of the second half, forced to deny both Maclaren and Cameron Edwards in quick succession as Glory pressed quickly after the break.
Both teams peppered chances at goal throughout the second half and Glory did well to keep the Mariners at bay after Jamieson was forced off with injury.
But an unmarked Duke pounced on the absence of Jamieson and sank the hearts of all Perth fans with his late volley in the dying stages of the match.
Perth Glory 1 (Maclaren 24')
Central Coast 2 (McGlinchey 34', Duke 90'+3)
Crowd: 8923 at nib Stadium