Mariners pinch a point

A last-minute goal from Sasho Petrovski has given Central Coast a dramatic 2-2 draw with the Perth Glory at Members Equity Stadium.

A last-minute goal from Sasho Petrovski has given Central Coast a dramatic 2-2 draw with the Perth Glory at Members Equity Stadium.

The Glory looked on target for their fourth win of the season when a second-half brace from Nikita Rukavytsya more than cancelled out a sensational free kick from Mile Jedinak on the half hour.

But despite bombarding the Mariners goal during the last 30 minutes, the Glory couldn't manage a third, giving 82nd-minute substitute Petrovski, on for John Hutchinson, the opportunity to slot home and earn his side a point, just as the match crept into injury time.

Glory coach Dave Mitchell thought some of his players believed Petrovski was offside when he received the ball, although replays indicated he was fractionally on.

But Mitchell said this was no excuse for not putting enough pressure on the Mariners for possession during the dying minutes.

"It's just sort of gut wrenching really," Mitchell said after the game.

"It's happened again, it's not the first time this season," he added, referring to a last-gasp equaliser that allowed Newcastle to draw with the Glory in round two.

"It's just something we've got to rectify and if we don't we deserve to be where we are."

"(We're) playing Melbourne next week, the best team in the competition. We have to get the win and if we don't then the season's over."

Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna said he could never question the player's belief after rousing comebacks against Adelaide and Sydney earlier in the season, but he felt this effort was not in the same class.

"Tonight was a lucky one definitely," he said. "We've deserved the comebacks (but) we didn't deserve it today."

"Perth dominated the second half, they had us under all sorts of pressure and probably missed the easiest chance of the game."

The point allows Central Coast to leapfrog Wellington into fourth position on the Hyundai A-League table on goal difference, while the Glory have moved off the foot of the table and into seventh, although their chances of making the top four have been badly hurt.

The Glory dominated possession during the opening exchanges, but their forward passing left lots to be desired as Eugene Dadi, in his first start for five matches, failed to combine effectively with Rukavytsya up front.

The hosts managed one header on target through Wayne Srhoj in the 14th minute but that was about as good as it got.

The Mariners may have been slow out of the blocks but they made up for it as former Glory and Victory midfielder Adrian Caceres started to threaten.

In the 28th minute, a Caceres snap shop, following a good run and cross by Hutchinson, was well held by Tando Velaphi in the Perth goal. But the stopper was unsighted when Caceres sent a header into the post a minute later.

Just after the half hour, the Mariners took the lead after Glory veteran Jamie Harnwell handballed just outside the box.

After five matches as striker, Harnwell had been brought back into defence to play at centre-back after regular centre Dino Djulbic was moved to the left to replace the injured Naum Sekulovski.

But his error allowed the visitors to take the lead through Jedinak's free kick, which skirted the wall and ended in the bottom left corner after goalkeeper Velaphi found himself out of position.

Half-time couldn't come fast enough for the Glory as Caceres and Jedinak created two more chances before the break, but it was a very different Glory side that emerged for the second half.

Srhoj showed his intent in the 48th minute as he sent a shot at Danny Vukovic, although the Glory were fortunate not to go further behind a minute later when a lobbed effort from Dylan Macallister came off the crossbar with Velaphi beaten.

But ten minutes after the break the hosts were back on level terms as Rukavystya used his pace to beat the defence and shoot under Vukovic.

Seven minutes later, Perth took the lead following a good exchange of passes between Dadi, Trinidad and Rukavytsya on the edge of the area, with Dadi's last touch giving Rukavytsya time to bury his shot past Vukovic for his eighth goal this season.

The Glory were suddenly oozing confidence as Jamie Coyne fired wide from 25 metres when he had time to do better, while a snap shot from the skipper in the 68th minute struck Nigel Boogaard's hand in the area, although it was missed by referee Peter O'Leary.

In the 70th minute a skimming shot from Trinidad struck the post, while the Glory went within inches of scoring a third two minutes later when Adriano Pellegrino's cross caused havoc in the area, Vukovic smothering the ball on the line as Rukavytsya attempted to prod home.

Boogaard was given a straight red a minute from time for a crude challenge on Trinidad but the drama was far from over as the Glory failed to clear their lines as the game went into added time.

Macallister took possession on the left and his miss-struck shot was slotted home by Petrovski, with the striker narrowly onside as the Glory defenders looked for a flag that wasn't forthcoming.

Perth Glory 2 (Rukavytsya 55, 62) Central Coast Mariners 2 (Jedinak 31, Petrovski 90) Crowd: 6496 at Perth's Members Equity Stadium