Mariners edge Glory
Matt Simon capitalised on a mistake from Perth Glory goalkeeper Tando Velaphi to snatch all three points with just a minute remaining as the Central Coast Mariners claimed a 2-1 win in Canberra today.
Just seven minutes after Naum Sekulovski's first A-League strike had cancelled out Alex Wilkinson's first-half header, a hopeful ball forward skipped off the surface and over Velaphi for substitute Dylan Macallister to nip in and hand Simon the easiest of finishes into the empty net for his second of the season.
Wilkinson's first goal for the Mariners in over four years three minutes before half-time looked to have sealed the win for Central Coast. However, the Mariners captain was denied the headlines as Bradley Porter misjudged an attempted chest trap just inside the Central Coast area with eight minutes remaining and was adjudged to have handled the seemingly straightforward cross.
Goalkeeper Danny Vukovic almost spared Porter's blushes as he saved Sekulovski's penalty, but the striker was first to react to fire into the empty net. The win elevates the Mariners temporality up to third place, two points behind early pacesetters Sydney who face Gold Coast on Saturday, while Perth slipped to fifth after a third straight away defeat.
At Westpac Stadium, Wellington Phoenix should have claimed a second win of the new season but were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United as they extended their unbeaten home record to eight games stretching back to last season. Both teams had their chances in a free-flowing open contest but with just five minutes remaining and the scores level at 1-1, Paul Ifill fired home from the edge of the area only to see his effort ruled out for offside.
Striker Chris Greenacre was certainly in an offside position in the centre of the field, but the defence-splitting through-ball found the on-rushing Ifill on the right and his superb cross low shot should have handed home side all three points until the linesman's flag ended celebrations. Both sides, with a win each to their names this term, improved to five points from the opening five games of the new campaign.
Ifill had opened the scoring 10 minutes before the break with his second of the season after sweeping in at the back of the area to fire home past Eugene Galekovic after Leo Bertos' cross bypassed Greenacre and the United defence.
The home side survived a scare six minutes later as Michael Marrone's header from Scott Jamieson's free-kick hit the post before being scrambled clear. However, from the resulting corner Reds defender Iain Fyfe took advantage of poor Wellington marking to flick home at the front post.