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A-League

Mariners shock City to snare first win of the season

14:01 GMT+3 16/01/2019
Connor Pain Central Coast
The struggling Gosford club finally got a victory

Central Coast Mariners won their first A-League match in 11 months with a 2-1 win over Melbourne City at Central Coast Stadium on Wednesday night.

Matt Simon scored the winner just before stoppage time despite his penalty being saved after former Mariner Lachlan Wales cancelled out Connor Pain's first half opener.

The Mariners should have taken the lead in the opening stages but skipper Simon managed to put a free header wide after Tommy Oar's wonderful cross on his left foot from the right channel.

City had plenty of possession and ball in their attacking areas but lacked an attacking threat with marquee defender Richie De Laet still operating as a makeshift striker.

It was the home side who took the lead in the 32nd minute with Pain lashing the ball into the bottom corner after a great run and pass by Matthew Millar.

After a likely Warren Joyce blast at half time. City came out with fire in their eyes and immediately put the Mariners under pressure.

But the absence of a striker continued to haunt the team as Riley McGree put in a magnificent ball but there was no one there to finish it off.

Suddenly the Mariners had two chances on the counter to extend their advantage with Eugene Galekovic just managing to keep at Pain's near post drive and substitute Jordan Murray shooting wide when one-on-one with the keeper.

Given a reprieve, City got their equaliser on 77 minutes when Wales got in front of Simon to head home Berenguer's corner at the near post.

Simon had a pair of half chances shortly after but had a shot on the turn blocked and was flagged offside at the near post not long after.

However the captain was the hero in the 89th minute, winning a penalty after getting bundled over by Rostyn Griffiths and despite his spot kick being saved by Galekovic, he fired in the rebound.

In the end the Mariners held on with City pumping the ball into the box for the last few minutes as the Gosford crowd celebrated their first win of the season.

Unbelievably the Mariners move within two points of ninth placed Brisbane and have a game in hand, while Melbourne City miss a chance to draw level with Sydney City to remain in fourth.