Mariners steal points in Gosford

A stoppage-time goal from veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk fired the Central Coast Mariners to a thrilling 3-2 victory against North Queensland at Gosford on Saturday night.

A stoppage time goal from veteran defender Patrick Zwaanswijk fired the Central Coast Mariners to a thrilling 3-2 victory against North Queensland at Gosford on Saturday night.

After an amazing second half, Zwaanswijk was right on the spot to head home a brilliant cross by Michael McGlinchey two minutes into second-half injury time at Bluetongue Stadium.

Victory sees the Mariners move to second place and was the team's third win from four starts at home this season.

The win was even more important considering it was the Mariners final match at Gosford for seven weeks while Bluetongue Stadium is resurfaced.

"I'm very proud of the boys, I think it's the best we've played this season," delighted Mariners coach Graham Arnold said.

"For once our defence wasn't the best but our attack was good. I'm very happy. I thought we played very good football. They pretty much had one shot at goal in the first half."

Defender Simon Storey gave the visitors a half-time lead with a goal in the 12th minute before the Mariners came to life in the second stanza.

Matt Simon scored his second goal of the season in the 47th minute and ten minutes later star signing Patricio Perez slotted home from the penalty spot after Daniel McBreen was fouled to put the Mariners 2-1 up.

The Mariners should have scored more but failed to put Fury away. They looked certain to pay a price for their poor finishing when Fury equalised in the 78th minute. Defender Mark Hughes celebrated, but replays showed the ball came off McBreen after a pinpoint cross.

Chances fell at both ends in a frantic final 10 minutes. Chris Payne was dangerous up front for the Fury .

Young Mariners goalkeeper Mathew Ryan pulled off two world-class diving saves , one off a low Payne shot, in the final five minutes, while at the other end of the field McBreen should have done better with two good chances.

But it was the Mariners who were celebrating when Zwaanswijk sealed the points with his first goal for the Mariners.

Fury finished the match a man down after Dyron Daal was red carded for a second bookable offence in the 79th minute.

Central Coast: 3 (Matt Simon 47', Patricio Perez 57' penalty, Patrick Zwaanswijk 92') North Queensland: 2 (Simon Storey 12', McBreen own goal 78') Crowd: 6656