Okon disappointed as sloppy Mariners held by 10-man Adelaide

Central Coast Mariners boss Paul Okon conceded his side may have “forgotten” how to win following a 2-2 draw with Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mariners looked on course for just their fourth win of the season after racing to a 2-0 lead after 53 minutes.

But despite Ersan Gulum’s send-off in the opening 20 minutes, a 10-man Reds fought their way back into the contest and netted twice in the final half-hour to rescue a point.

Okon praised Adelaide’s brave fightback but was left frustrated by his side’s inability to close out the game.

“We lost some points here tonight,” Okon said post-match.

“We had a two-goal lead and we had the chance when Hooley cut back to Trent (Buhagiar) with an open goal to make it 3-0 and probably the game’s over.

“2-0 is always a dangerous score line, Adelaide gained some momentum and we didn’t take advantage of having the extra man as much as we would have liked.

“We handed the ball over too much, it became a transition game which suits Adelaide. They are very much a team that waits for you to lose the ball and then they’re off. I think in the end they probably deserved their point.

“There are some positives. The fact that we had the two-goal lead, I thought when we used the ball well we were dangerous and threatening. Maybe in the end it’s because we haven’t won for a while, a bit of panic sets in, maybe we’ve forgotten how to win. All of those things start to creep in.”

The Mariners return to Gosford on Friday night as they welcome bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix to Central Coast Stadium.