Mariners overpower Adelaide to go clear on top

Mariners overpower Adelaide to go clear on top

Gosford was rocking on Thursday night as the Mariners completed a come from behind win against Adelaide United to move clear once more at the top of the A-League table.

In front of 5053 fans, Oliver Bozanic and Alou Kuol struck in the second half to cancel out Kusini Yengi’s opener and the Mariners had two spot kicks saved by Joe Gauci.

Alen Stajcic named an unchanged side from the draw against Melbourne Victory, and the Mariners had the first big chance of the match when Kye Rowles’ header appeared to strike a hand, and after a VAR check the spot kick was awarded.

Gauci saved the penalty from Matt Simon with a trailing leg though, and Simon was again denied a seventh goal of the season a few minutes later when his header ended up in the net but the passage of play was called back for offside.

Danny DeSilva had a shot blocked down one end before Gianni Stensness and Kye Rowles gave an Adelaide strike the same treatment at the other, and the two sides headed into half time goalless.

It took only three second half minutes for the visitors to find the lead though, Ben Halloran crossed from the right wing to find Yengi and his first time effort squeezed under Mark Birighitti.

The Mariners pushed though and began to dominate proceedings, and just before the hour mark were given another way back into the game as another penalty was awarded for handball following a VAR check.

Bozanic took it this time but Gauci got down low to his right to keep it up and keep the visitors in the lead.

With a vocal home crowd pushing them on the Mariners would not be denied, and the introductions of Kuol and Josh Nisbet with 26 minutes to play provided a huge burst of energy.

Bozanic picked up a loose ball way outside the area with 18 minutes left, and faked one defender before creating space to shoot and rifled an effort with his non-preferred right boot low and hard past Gauci to bring the Mariners level.

That provided another spark, and with momentum firmly on the Mariners side it was the substitutes who combined next.

A deflected through ball to Josh Nisbet looked to have been claimed by Gauci, only for the midfielder to harry him and force a loss of possession, before he kept his cool to square the ball back for Kuol who smashed the ball home to give the Mariners the lead.

From there the Mariners held firm against the Reds as they pushed for an equaliser, and saw out five minutes of stoppage time to snap a three-match winless run and move four points clear on the table.

Next up is a blockbuster clash against Wanderers on Tuesday, and you can join the boys there by booking a spot on the bus to Bankwest! Click here!