Late equaliser denies Mariners home win


A late Western Sydney equaliser denied the Mariners three points on Monday night after a strong performance from Alen Stajcic’s side.

Matt Simon was brought back into the starting side along with Tommy Oar and Dylan Ruiz-Diaz, with the youngster making his first Hyundai A-League start.

The game started at a strong pace in the wet conditions and Tate Russell forced a fingertip save out of Mark Birighitti early on and Jordan O’Doherty was booked as he hauled down Sam Silver on a counter-attack.

Mitchell Duke was lucky to escape a red card as he went through the legs of Ziggy Gordon 10 minutes before half-time but was only sanctioned with a yellow, and Mo Adam hit the crossbar in the shadows of the break.

There were big shouts for a penalty 12 minutes into the second half when he appeared to be shoved to the ground racing towards goal but the appeals were waved away, however it was just two minutes later when the Mariners took the lead.

Tommy Oar made ground down the left and provided a beautiful switch ball to Matt Simon on the far side of the area, and he struck a first time pass back across goal that Milan Duric swept into the goal to put the home side ahead.

Stajcic’s men pushed on after the goal too, and chances opened up on the break but the Mariners were unable to kill off the game with the Wanderers struggling.

The introductions of Simon Cox and Kwame Yeboah helped the Wanderers work their way back into the game and as the half wore on they pinned the Mariners deeper into their half.

And the pressure told in the dying minutes, as Duke’s deflected cross was reached by Cox who headed home past Birighitti to give the visitors a share of the points.