The Central Coast Mariners have secured an important point against Perth Glory on Saturday night, coming from behind to grab a 2-all draw at Macedonia Park.
Two Jason Cummings penalties were enough to get a point for the away side in a match that was largely dominated by them, having almost 70 percent of the possession.
The Mariners also with 21 shots and 16 corners, looking the better of the two sides for a majority of the match.
The game also marked a special occasion for our Brazilian forward Moresche, with the striker returning to the A-League competition after 287 days out following his ACL injury.
Moresche coming on in the 68th minute, looking fit and fast in his cameo appearance. The striker ready to build on that performance as we enter the back end of the season.
With the game delayed 30 minutes the Mariners looked the better of the two sides early, having three clear cut chances in the opening 10 minutes.
The best of the lot an effort from Brian Kaltak, the defender finding himself on the end of a loose ball in the box.
Kaltak leaping high over the Glory defence in the 5th minute, his headed shot only denied by a reflex stop from Perth goalkeeper Cameron Cook.
The Mariners continued to dominate until the 15th minute, when Brian Kaltak was deemed to have fouled Adam Taggart on the edge of the area.
Midfielder Salim Khelifi, who was playing his first match after returning from injury, picked up the ball and had an effort on target.
His free kick slotting perfectly between our wall and the crossbar, tickling the woodwork before falling in. The 16th minute goal handing Perth a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
Despite going a goal behind the Mariners continued to play the more aggressive football, having most of the possession as well as shots.
The Central Coast’s next clear-cut chance coming in the 32nd minute, with New Zealand international James McGarry finding himself standing over a free kick outside the area.
The left footer trying to find the near post from an acute angle, forcing Cook to produce a fine save.
Despite continuing to push for an equaliser the Mariners were unable to find the back of the net before the half drew to a close, with the Central Coast heading into the sheds with work to do.
The second half got off to the worst possible start for the away side, with Perth awarded a penalty in the 50th minute. The ball striking Kaltak in the arm with the referee pointing to the spot without hesitation.
Khelifi dispatched the spot kick comfortably, beating the outstretched hand of Danny Vukovic, with the veteran picking the right way.
The goal handing the Glory a 2-0 lead against the run of play, with Montgomery immediately turning to his bench for fresh legs.
Christian Theoharous and Jacob Farrell were the two he brought on, with the duo almost linking up for our first just five minutes later.
The winger whipping in the perfect ball, finding Farrell’s head with pinpoint accuracy. The defender’s effort grazing the crossbar before deflecting over, the Mariners beginning to apply serious pressure.
With the Mariners still hunting for an equaliser Montgomery opted to bring on Moresche, the attacker stepping foot on an A-League Men’s pitch for the first time in over nine months.
In the 73rd minute the Mariners finally got the perfect chance to get back in the match, with VAR calling the on-field referee over.
Replays showed that Farrell’s pass in the box had collected a Glory defenders’ hand on the way through, with the Mariners awarded a penalty.
Jason Cummings made light work of the spot kick, calmly slotting it into the bottom left corner. The striker’s 11th goal of the season so far, making the score 2-1 in the 74th minute.
After continuing to put the Glory under pressure as they threw every player behind the ball, Theoharous gave the away side the perfect opportunity to bring the scores level.
The skilful winger too much for the Glory defensive line, getting brought down inside the box. After successfully scoring his first of the night Cummings grabbed the ball for a second penalty, looking to secure a quick-fire brace.
The Socceroos striker making no mistake, smacking the ball down the middle in the 81st minute to draw the scores level.
Theoharous almost gave the Mariners the lead under 60 seconds later, with the winger playing havoc just outside the box.
His long-range rocket leaving Cook stranded in the middle of the goal, as the Glory goalkeeper could only watch as his upright saved him from conceding three in eight minutes.
With time running out and Perth holding on in the hopes of grabbing a point, the Mariners continued to push.
This left space open for both sides to attack into, with Vukovic pulling out some remarkable saves in the dying stages to keep the scores level.
The full-time whistle blowing shortly after, the Mariners having to settle for what was a well-earned point.
The side now have a short turn around as we play host to Wellington Phoenix next Friday night, with the team returning home to Industree Group Stadium for the first time in a month.
Tickets are available for that match HERE!