Michael McGlinchey broke Perth Glory's hearts with a 96th-minute winner but the major talking point was Jacob Burns' dismissal at Bluetongue Stadium.
The 35-year-old was shown a second yellow card for dissent by referee Shaun Evans.
But Burns blasted the scenarios that resulted in his sending off in the 90th minute, just prior to the decisive goal.
Burns felt aggrieved at the first yellow card he was given in the 89th minute for persistent infringements, stating it was "poor referring for the first yellow."
Having been dismissed for a second bookable offence, Burns defended himself, claiming he was trying to communicate with officials to get back on the field after leaving the field to replace his bloodied shirt following an errant elbow to the head.
"They (the officials) have to show some commonsense there or tell you why (you can't go back on) or at least give you an explanation," he said.
"I had changed ... shirts and was ready to get back on and still nothing."
"What about if you lay down on the pitch with blood coming out of your head? The time ticks off and they have all got to wait?
"I do the right thing, get off as quick as I can to get the game flowing.
"The physio sprints across half the field. I don't know."
Burns believes Glory should have started their mini east-coast swing with a draw out of the match.
"We deserve a point out of that game, and eleven players deserved to be on there for the length of that time."
Glory's interim coach Kenny Lowe praised his inexperienced side after the loss but was also unable to explain some of the late calls that went against his side.
"Not a clue. It's the first time I've seen a player sent off the pitch when he wasn't on the pitch, so it's an interesting one," he said.
Lowe, however, claims he didn't see the first offence Burns was booked for.
"It was on the other side, I don't have a clue, I can't see that far."
"I think you saw tonight Mikey was such a key figure," Moss said.
Central Coast Mariners coach Phil Moss meanwhile lauded the influence of J-League-bound McGlinchey.
"He just finds space and space finds him and that's the sign of a good player," he said.
"He uses the ball so well, he is quick to release it but he also knows how to run at players, create openings and opportunities for other players."
"McGlinchey will be a big loss, there is no doubt about, but to have someone like Bernie (Ibini) to come back and we have Nick Fitzgerald who has been doing fantastic - he was unlucky not to get a run tonight… we have got some options there.
"It will be a loss but it certainly won't cripple us."
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