Mariners capitulate two-goal lead against Phoenix

David Williams Wellington
The Gosford club just continue to find ways to not win matches

Winless Central Coast Mariners nightmare season continued after surrendering a two-goal lead to go down 3-2 against Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Saturday.

Mike Mulvey's men were cruising at half time with a two-goal lead before defender Kye Rowles was shown his marching orders early in the second period, and within 19 minutes of the restart, the Kiwis had taken the lead through Roy Krishna's double and David Williams' blast.

It was the sixth time in 12 A-League matches this season that the Mariners have scored first and failed to win, and in three of those occasions they have led by two goals also and then had a player sent off.

The Mariners started the match all over their highly-fancied opponents, who were missing midfield duo Mandi and Alex Rufer, and were duly rewarded on eight minutes when Phoenix import Steven Taylor was adjudged to have held Matt Simon in the penalty area.

Goal 50 Revealed: The best 50 players in the world

Simon converted the penalty clinically and Central Coast looked set for an assault on their first win of the season.

Ten minutes later it got even better for the Mariners as Mitch Nichols lost the ball in midfield and Jacob Melling's pin-point pass set Andrew Hoole free, with the attacker sliding his shot into the net via the hands of Phoenix keeper Filip Kurto.

While the Mariners made it to half-time against an out-of-sorts Wellington, Mark Rudan's team talk inspired the home side as they returned from the sheds looking like a new team.

Almost straight after the restart, substitute  Cillian Sheridan set Krishna through on goal and after Rowles clumsily barged him over, referee Alex King has no choice but to show red.

Krishna just snuck the penalty through Mariners stopper Ben Kennedy's fingers - but little did he know he would be back on the spot 10 minutes later.

This time it was Melling's poor challenge that brought down the Fijian and he tied the game up by beating Kennedy again in the left bottom corner.

Wellington's comeback was completed on 64 minutes when Williams smashed the ball into the back of the net after the Mariners failed to clear the danger

Central Coast thought they had an unlikely equaliser in the dying stages but Jordan Murray was correctly flagged for being offside.

Article continues below

The result was a club record eight matches without defeat for Wellington as they climbed temporarily into fifth position on the A-League table.