Mariners blow two-goal lead as Phoenix soar to comeback victory

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Central Coast Mariners have suffered another bout of red card heartache in the A-League after crashing to a 3-2 loss to the Phoenix in Wellington.

The out-of-luck Mariners had to digest a 10th successive defeat but this was one of the most sour for Mike Mulvey's last-placed side, having fully warranted their 2-0 halftime lead.

A straight sending off of defender Kye Rowles 40 seconds after the break turned the match on its head, allowing Wellington to control the game and extend their unbeaten run to a club record eight games.

History repeated for Central Coast, who also dominated the early stages of last week's 5-2 loss to Sydney FC before defender Kalifa Cisse saw red.

Phoenix marksman Roy Krishna was the chief beneficiary, scoring twice from the penalty spot.

On both occasions he won the spot kick, including the critical moment when Rowles was dismissed for a push to the Fijian international's back when he was clear on goal in the box.

Referee Alex King also had no hesitation when Krishna was clattered into by Jacob Melling 10 minutes later.

Krishna, who has scored nine goals this season, set up the 65th-minute winner with a slick burst and assist for fellow-striker David Williams, who blasted home from close range.

It meant a season-high home crowd 10,186 could celebrate a milestone for skipper Andrew Durante, who became the first player to appear in 300 A-League matches.

It seemed the night would fall flat for the central defender as Central Coast owned the opening exchanges, forcing seven corners in the first 13 minutes.

Making the most of a first start in two months for influential Socceroos front man Tommy Oar, they went in front through an eighth-minute penalty. It was converted by Matt Simon, who had been held down by Steven Taylor.

Andrew Hoole bagged his first goal of the season in the 21st minute, a fine solo effort after Melling stripped Mitch Nichols of possession.

The Mariners had visions of their first win since beating the Phoenix in Gosford 11 months ago but instead blew a lead for the sixth time this season, extending an overall winless run to 18 games.

A positive was the first appearance in more than a year for former Wanderers central defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis after overcoming a serious knee injury.

Source AAP