Magic Mariners secure miraculous comeback victory

The Central Coast Mariners have come from behind in dramatic fashion against Western United on Saturday evening, securing a 4-2 victory at Central Coast Stadium. 

Despite dominating proceedings for the opening 45 minutes, the Mariners found themselves 2-0 down at the break. 

Central Coast were unfortunate not to capitalise on numerous chances early in the Western United box, narrowly missing on multiple occasions. 

It was a sucker punch when Western’s first attack of the match resulted in a goal, Danny Vukovic picking the ball out of his net in disbelief after the away sides opening venture into our back third. 

Their second would come in a similar fashion, with Central Coast continuing to dominate the match.

Former Mariner Connor Pain was determined to spoil the party after assisting the first goal, scoring his sides second with a nice finish against the run of play. 

The Mariners continued to push to no avail in the remaining 15 minutes of the half, heading into the sheds 2-0 down and with work to do. 

Head coach Nick Montgomery turned to his substitutes bench to make an impact, with Garang Kuol, Paul Ayongo and Jacob Farrell all coming on at half time. 

Kuol’s devastating pace and dribbling would be front and centre only moments after coming on, with the youngster producing one of his trademark runs before being taken out by Topor-Stanley. 

After initially giving a yellow card, the referee upgraded the card after looking at VAR, with the replay’s showing the defender dangerously took out Kuol’s legs.

From then the Mariners were rewarded for their constant pressure, but not before Cummings had one final goal chalked off. 

The striker producing a spectacular effort from long range, with it only to be ruled out due to a ball kicked onto the field by Alessandro Diamanti. 

The Mariners didn’t let that decision affect them, finally pulling a goal back in the 67th minute. Third time was certainly the charm for Cummings, with Kuol producing a magical move to set the striker up. 

He would nutmeg Ben Garuccio close to the by-line, firing a ball across to Cummings to score our first of the match. 

Just five minutes later the game was level, with Cummings turning from scorer to provider. The striker poking the ball goalward to Beni Nkololo, with the Frenchman smashing it home from close range in the 74th minute. 

The tension and excitement continued to build inside Central Coast Stadium, with every Mariners fan in attendance believing that a magical comeback was certainly on the cards. 

After starting the match on the bench due to tightness, Jacob Farrell reminded everyone why he is one of the most highly regarded youngsters in the A-League, scoring another sensational header to hand us our first lead of the match. 

The defender connecting on the end of yet another Cummings cross, beating his man before looping it past Jamie Young in the Western United net in the 78th minute. 

Fellow substitute Paul Ayongo put the icing on a memorable Mariners victory, with Cummings recording his third and final assist of the evening. 

After pulling up next to the by-line and cutting the ball back to the 12-yard mark, Ayongo drilled it into the top of the net, beating Young and completing the 4-2 comeback. 

The win now leaves the Mariners full of confidence heading into the final two matches before the World Cup break, with our next game coming against the in-form Western Sydney Wanderers away from home next Saturday. 

The Mariners will then return to Central Coast Stadium for one final match before the league wide pause, taking on Dwight Yorke’s Macarthur. 

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