Perth Glory's five match undefeated streak has come to an end, after two quickfire goals from Central Coast Mariners saw them claim a 2-0 victory in Gosford.
The heat most certainly played a factor, as the two sides were limited to a handful of half-chances in the opening stanza, with Adam Taggart almost latching onto a few crosses from the left flank and Diego Castro ever present pulling the strings from midfield. Glory's best chance came just five minutes from half-time, with skipper Andy Keogh's cross to the back post finding Diego Castro, who was able to tee up Taggart, but the striker was unable to convert from close range.
The tide turned in the Mariners favour early in the second half, as the home side grabbed the lead less than 2 minutes after the break. Trent Buhagiar's cross from the left side caused trouble in the box, with Milan Smiljanic's interception falling favourably for Josh Bingham in the 6-yard-box, making no mistake from close range.
Five minutes later the Mariners doubled their advantage from the spot. Fabio Ferreira's dribble into the box saw his lofted touch strike the out-stretched arm of Josh Risdon, with referee Kris Griffiths-Jones pointing to the spot immediately. Ferreira made no mistake from the spot, chipping a well-weighted panenka over the diving Liam Reddy.
Both teams pushed hard for the third goal of the game, with Ferreira, Nick Montgomery, Castro and Keogh coming close through the second half.
The match ended in late controversy, as Glory 'keeper Reddy was given his marching orders. Hesitating on the ball, his attempted clearance tripped over a charging Buhagiar en route to goal, resulting in a straight red card.
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4' The balls at Montogmery's feet following Pain's cross, but his shot is blocked by Lowry and cleared.
9' A dangerous ball comes in from a swift counter attack move from Central Coast, but Djulbic expertly prevents Bingham from getting a strike on goal.
22' Chianese picks up the ball near the byline but his cut-back for Taggart goes behind him.
34' Chianese is put through the right wing via a tidy first-time flick from Keogh, but Castro's strike from the cut back is well over the bar.
40' Keogh's cross to the back post finds Castro and his first-time ball lands Taggart's feet from close range, but is unable to convert.
45+2' Castro's perfectly timed through ball to Keogh presents the captain with a great opportunity, but his curling strike is just wide of the mark.
47' Goal Mariners, 1-0. Smiljanic's interception falls favourably to Bingham at close range, who makes no mistake from inside the 6-yard-box.
52' Penalty Mariners. Ferreira's incisive run sees a lofted ball hit Risdon's outstretched arm.
52' Goal Mariners, 2-0. Ferreira panenkas his penalty down the middle of the goal.
56' Ferreira latches onto a Mariners counter-attacking move but crashes his shot onto Reddy's near post.
59' Montgomery plays a one-two before his shot is parried over the bar by the quick reactions of Reddy.
65' Castro's left footed strike is pushed away by the outstretched leg of Izzo.
79' Harold cuts back a cross to Castro, who forces a great save out of Izzo, tipping the shot around the far post.
84' Red card Reddy. The custodian takes his time on the ball, his attempted clearance trips Buhagiar on the way to goal.
Perth Glory Squad: 33. Liam REDDY (GK), 4. Shane LOWRY, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Joel CHIANESE (14. Chris HAROLD 61'), 9. Andy KEOGH (C), 15. Brandon WILSON, 16. Joseph MILLS, 17. Diego CASTRO, 19. Josh RISDON, 22. Adam TAGGART (10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC 61'), 24. Milan SMILJANIC (13. Nicholas FEELY GK 85')
Subs not used: 3. Marc WARREN, 20. Aryn WILLIAMS
Yellow Cards: 4. Shane LOWRY 74', 17. Diego CASTRO 85'
Red Cards: 33. Liam REDDY 83'
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 20. Paul IZZO (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Scott GALLOWAY, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 7. Fabio FERREIRA (14. Adam BERRY 89'), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY (C), 11. Connor PAIN (13. Kwabena APPIAH 86'), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR, 16. Liam ROSE, 17. Josh BINGHAM (6. Blake POWELL), 22. Jake McGING
Subs not used: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 14. Adam BERRY, 26. Steve WHYTE
Yellow Cards: 22. Jake MCGING 5', 12. Trent BUHAGIAR 37', 2. Storm ROUX 53', 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO 72'
Red Cards: nil