Glory see red against Mariners

A controversial red card for Perth Glory defender Josh Mitchell overshadowed another three points for the Central Coast Mariners as the Hyundai A-League leaders ran out 3-1 winners at nib Stadium tonight.

A controversial red card for Perth Glory defender Josh Mitchell overshadowed another three points for the Central Coast Mariners as the Hyundai A-League leaders ran out 3-1 winners at nib Stadium tonight.

Mitchell received his marching orders in the first half for a challenge on Oliver Bozanic that was deemed dangerous by referee Matt Gillett, much to the outrage of Glory coach Ian Ferguson.

Going into the game, Glory made three changes to the side that lost 2-1 to Melbourne Heart last weekend with Steve Pantelidis, Adam Hughes and Josh Risdon replacing Jacob Burns, Todd Howarth, and Mile Sterjovski who dropped to the bench. Ferguson chose to begin with Travis Dodd at the point of a midfield diamond behind strikers Shane Smeltz and Billy Mehmet, while Pantelidis occupied the base in his first start of the season.

It took 20 minutes for the first action of real note as Mariners full back Padj Bojic fired in a left footed shot that went harmlessly wide of Danny Vukovic-s post.

The game was completely turned on its head on 26 minutes when referee Gillett showed Josh Mitchell a straight red card for a tackle on Oliver Bozanic. Mitchell looked to have gotten the ball before making contact with Bozanic but Gillett decided otherwise and Glory were reduced to ten men, much to the understandable disgust of the home supporters.

With Adam Hughes filling the vacant hole in the centre of the defence, Glory switched to a three man midfield and began to take the game to the Mariners. On 34 minutes Trent McClenahan put in a robust challenge on the right wing and carried the ball toward the area before shooting at goal, but his effort lacked real conviction and went wide.

Glory then created the best chance of the half when Travis Dodd broke quickly and fed Billy Mehmet who was surrounded by defenders. The ball broke to Liam Miller who shot first time but the Irishman should have done a lot better than find the middle of The Shed.

The top of the table Mariners continued to struggle with the man advantage but they did finally manage to register a shot on target when Bernie Ibini connected well with a Bozanic knockdown though his volley was well saved by Vukovic low to his left.

Miller again came close to breaking the deadlock with a well struck free kick just before half time, but Ryan-s fingertips made sure it didn-t hit the target.

Glory came out unchanged for the second half but it didn-t take long for the Mariners to take the lead when Ibini latched on to a Simon through ball to shoot past Vukovic left footed.

It was almost two just minutes later when Ibini was found again, this time by a sweet pass from Josh Rose, but his shot went over the bar.

Bojic did double the lead on the hour mark in rather fortunate circumstances when his attempt at a sliding cross spun past Vukovic and into the net off the far post. Glory sent on Olyroos striker Adam Taggart in place of Shane Smeltz for the last half hour but it was the Mariners who scored again on 64 minutes when Ibini turned provider to lay on a simple tap in for Simon.

The game slowed to a more pedestrian pace for the remainder though substitute Steven McGarry wasted an opportunity to get his name on the scoresheet for Glory when he shot tamely wide when left free in the area.

With seven minutes remaining, Miller let fly from 30 yards but Ryan produced a wonderful save to tip the ball over.

From the resultant short corner, McGarry received the ball from Sterjovski and fired in a low drive which Ryan saw late through a crowd of players and allowed squirm over the line.

It was a deserved consolation for the hosts who played with a man less for over an hour of the contest.

Despite the defeat, Glory remains just two points outside the finals in 8th spot with a trip to the Newcastle Jets next up on December 31, while Central Coast moves five points clear at the top of the table.