Western Sydney Wanderers have snapped a six-match winless run after downing Central Coast Mariners 4-1 in an entertaining affair in Gosford on Saturday afternoon.
The Mariners flew out of the blocks and took the lead in just the fifth minute with Blake Powell on hand to fire home after some brilliant build-up from Storm Roux.
The Wanderers hit back almost immediately through Jumpei Kusukami before taking the lead through Nicolas Martinez just past the half-hour mark.
Both sides continued to create chances in a free-flowing affair but it was the visitors who extended their advantage with Jake McGing bundling the ball into his own net early in the second stanza.
Central Coast were handed a lifeline on the hour mark when Wanderers keeper Jerrad Tyson was dismissed for a late challenge on Trent Buhagiar.
But the hosts failed to capitalise on their advantage and it was the Wanderers who sealed the result in the dying minutes with super-sub Brendon Santalab burying a loose ball from close range.
1-0 Mariners: Blake Powell, 5’
Storm Roux surged down the right flank linking up with Roy O’Donovan before delivering a wicked ball into the box with Powell on hand to stroke the ball home, aided by a slight deflection.
1-1 Wanderers: Jumpei Kusukami, 6’
The Japanese winger received the ball on the left flank before embarking on a mazy run inside the area with his curling effort taking a wicked deflection and looping into the far corner.
1-2 Wanderers: Nicolas Martinez, 31’
Mitch Nichols was afforded acres of space on the left-hand side before calmly picking out the onrushing Martinez inside the area with the Argentinian burying a header past the helpless Paul Izzo.
1-3 Wanderers: Jake McGing (OG), 50’
Nichols played Scott Neville in behind with the fullback’s fizzing cross from close-range ricocheting off McGing and into the back of the net.
1-4 Wanderers: Brendon Santalab, 87’
Wanderers’ super-sub pounced on a loose ball inside the Mariners area before smashing a thumping effort past the stranded Paul Izzo.
Central Coast should have gone into the break on level terms with Roy O’Donovan missing a gilt-edged chance to make it 2-2 in the 40th minute.
Connor Pain showed blinding speed to get in behind before expertly cutting the ball back for O’Donovan but the Irishman could only steer his effort into the post from close range.
Jerrad Tyson, 60’
Mariners flyer Trent Buhagiar appeared to be in goal after a delightful ball over the top by Blake Powell but was taken out by the onrushing Jerrad Tyson. The Wanderers keeper was shown his marching orders with the visitors forced to play the final 30 minutes with 10 men.
-Western Sydney Wanderers are now undefeated in their last five games against Central Coast Mariners (W4, D1)
-Western Sydney Wanderers have won five of their last six away games within New South Wales (D1)
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