Perth Glory has drawn 3-3 in an enthralling encounter with the Central Coast Mariners on home soil after conceding a penalty only minutes before full-time.
Glory was cruising to a three goal lead at half-time before a second half resurgence from the Mariners saw them snatch a point at nib Stadium.
The home side started their 20th anniversary celebrations in style when Adam Taggart notched his first of the season with a delicately placed header from a sublime Diego Castro cross in just the fourth minute.
Brandon Wilson almost made it two nil on his debut soon after when his volley cannoned off the crossbar from outside the box.
Glory’s lead was soon doubled thanks to another well-weighted cross from the left, this time from Marc Warren, who provided Taggart with his second on a platter.
Chris Harold was a constant menace on the right and he soon earned his side a penalty after Jacques Faty bundled over the pacey winger in the box. Castro stepped up to slot the ball calmly and coolly into the bottom right corner to make it a three nil ball game.
The second half was a completely different story with Central Coast bursting out of the blocks and threatening Liam Reddy’s goal.
That pressure was soon rewarded when Roy O’Donovan was on the end of a low cross from Trent Buhagiar, tapping home from close range to begin what resulted in an unlikely comeback.
Andy Keogh had a chance to put Glory further in front after being put through one-on-one with Ivan Necevski but the custodian was equal to the challenge, clutching the ball with both hands as the strike was struck straight at the keeper.
The Mariners pulled another goal back in fortunate circumstances as substitute Kwabena Appiah-Kubi’s strike was cleared off the line by Warren, unfortunately into the head of Reddy and into the back of the net.
O’Donovan soon tied the proceedings with an 86th minute penalty after Rhys Williams was ruled to have brought down the Irishman inside the box.
The Heritage Match ended in a stalemate but Glory will look forward to next week’s home game against Wellington Phoenix to make amends.
4’ 1-0 Glory. Castro breaks down the left before cutting inside and delivering a well-weighted ball in for Taggart who nods it home from close range
20’ The crowd stands and applauds on the 20th minute mark to commemorate the club’s proud 20 year history
23’ The ball falls to the edge of the area for Wilson who unleashes a thunderbolt that ricochets off the upper side of the crossbar
27’ 2-0 Glory. Warren gets forward down the left and curls in a brilliant ball for Taggart who taps it home for his second goal of the night
34’ Penalty Glory. Harold makes a darting run into the box and is cleaned up by Faty in the process leaving the referee no choice but to point to the spot
35’ 3-0 Glory. Castro steps up and makes no mistake, tucking it home into the bottom right corner for the Glory’s third
40’ Glory push forward again, this time its Castro who delivers a ball into the area, but his cross is heavy and out of play
51’ O’Donovan is teed up by Pain nicely but the Irishman can only direct his shot into the arms of Reddy
57’ 3-1, Mariners score. Buhagiar drills a low cross into the back post for O’Donovan who taps it home from close range
67’ Castro plays a beautiful ball through to Keogh who is left one on one with Necevski, but slams it straight into the torso of the Central Coast shot stopper
82’ 3-2, Mariners score. Blake Powell cuts a ball back for Appiah-Kubi who has a shot cleared off the line by Warren but it’s slammed into Reddy and the ball rebounds into his own net
85’ Penalty Mariners. Williams adjudged to have pulled back O’Donovan on his drive into the box
86’ 3-3, Mariners score. O’Donovan steps up and finishes it past a diving Reddy
Perth Glory 3 (Taggart 4’, 27’, Castro (P 35’)
Central Coast Mariners 3 (O’Donovan 57’, P 86’, Reddy OG 82’)
Referee: Chris BEATH
Assistant Referees: Josh MANELLA and Matthew SOUTHERN
Fourth Official: Adam FIELDING
Perth Glory: 33. Liam REDDY, 19. Josh RISDON, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 5. Rhys WILLIAMS, 3. Marc WARREN, 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 15. Brandon WILSON, 14. Chris HAROLD, 17. Diego CASTRO (29. Joe KNOWLES 78’), 22. Adam TAGGART (10. Nebo MARINKOVIC 63’), 9. Andy KEOGH
Unused Subs: 13. Nicholas FEELY, 2. Alexander GRANT
Coach: Kenny Lowe
Central Coast Mariners: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Storm ROUX (13. Kwabena APPIAH-KUBI 75’), 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 19. Jacques FATY (22. Jake MCGING 45’), 21. Michael NEILL, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 10. Mickael TAVARES, 6. Blake POWELL, 11. Connor PAIN, 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (25. Ryan PETERSON 75’), 9. Roy O’DONOVAN
Unused Subs: 20. Paul IZZO, 14. Adam BERRY
Coach: Paolo Okon
Yellow cards: Rostyn GRIFFITHS (26’), Brandon WILSON (77’), Rhys WILLIAMS (86’), Nick MONTGOMERY (86’), Mickael TAVARES (90’)
Red cards: nil