McKinna rues four-goal concession

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna has blasted his side's defensive performance after losing 4-3 to Queensland in their crucial Round 19 Hyundai A-League clash at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.

Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna has blasted his side's defensive performance after losing 4-3 to Queensland in their crucial Round 19 Hyundai A-League clash at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mariners went into the match sitting in third place on the ladder and with the knowledge a win would go a long way to securing a semi-final spot.

But after starting brightly and holding a 1-0 lead for the majority of the first half, Central Coast conceded goals either side of half-time to find itself trailing 2-1 after 49 minutes.

In-form striker Matt Simon snatched an equaliser in the 54th minute to make it 2-2.

But another defensive lapse allowed Tahj Minniecon to put the Roar ahead 3-2 before the livewire winger made it 4-2 with a deflected shot of defender Pedj Bojic in the 66th minute.

Simon scored in the 80th minute to make it 4-3 and if it was not for some phenomenal goalkeeping from Griffin McMaster in the final minutes of the match, Simon may have secured a draw.

However it was not to be and the loss sees the Roar leapfrog the Mariners who find themselves in fourth place, within striking distance of the Wellington Phoenix and with two tough matches against Melbourne and Adelaide in the run to the semis.

"We cannot give away three goals and be happy," he said.

"I gave the boys credit before the game saying in the last five weeks we have only conceded four goals and defensively we have done well. But tonight we didn't."

"A lot of decisions went wrong and (we were) not marking up, so defensively I am not happy at all."

The Mariners boss said the poor defensive effort overshadowed a potent attacking display and that the loss of concentration in the crucial five minutes either side of half-time was pivotal in the defeat.

"I am disappointed to lose after going up 1-0 early," McKinna said after the match.

"We gave them a couple of chances in the first half but we more or less dominated chance-wise. But the goals two minutes before half-time and three minutes after half-time really killed us."

"Hef (Dean Heffernan) costs us the first one and Danny (Vukovic) cost us the second one to go down 2-1. To come back 2-2 pretty much straight away is credit to the boys and we were on top but it was the third one that really hurt us."

"It was slack marking in the middle but again a good finish and the fourth one came in and hurt us, too."

"It is a credit to Matty (Simon) for following up on two defensive errors from them to score two good goals and with a wee bit of luck we could have jagged that equaliser again."

"But we shouldn't have had to come back because we were leading 1-0 five minutes before half-time. The game should have been played out and those goals just minutes before and after half-time has really cost us."