Wanderers snatch late draw against unlucky Mariners


The Central Coast Mariners have taken precious points off another A-League finals aspirant, but have fallen just short of a first win in 13 games by drawing 1-1 at home with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Three days after holding Newcastle to a 0-0 draw at the same venue in Gosford, the Mariners took two points off a Wanderers side playing their first game since the competition resumed.

An 88th minute header from substitute Simon Cox salvaged a point for the visitors, who remain in ninth spot four points off sixth.

The Mariners looked on course to get their first win since January 12 on Monday when Milan Duric finished well just before the hour mark, after Matt Simon knocked Tommy Oar's cross into his path.


Central Coast continued to press and Wanderers' substitute Alou Kuol nearly doubled the lead by accident but fortunately he headed a Duric free kick straight at Wanderers' goalkeeping debutant Tristan Prendergast.

Captain Mitch Duke almost equalised with a header from a free kick from substitute Pirmin Schwegler but it was pushed away by goalkeeper Mark Birighitti, while Daniel Georgievski also flashed a strong drive just wide.

Republic of Ireland international Cox, who spent two weeks in quarantine after returning to Australia, came to the Wanderers rescue when he headed home a neat cross from Duke.


Earlier the Wanderers had dominated a contest played in difficult conditions as Tate Russell's fierce drive forced a fine fingertip save from Birighitti.

As the half progressed the hosts grew into the encounter, but struggled to create chances apart from one shot by Sam Silvera.

They maintained momentum through the early stages of the second half and deservedly took the lead.

The Wanderers looked listless after their promising start to the game, but rallied late to finish well.