Roar steal it

Brisbane Roar have surged into the Hyundai A-League top six after an injury time goal from Matt McKay handed them a thrilling 3-2 win against the Mariners in Gosford on Saturday.

Brisbane Roar have surged into the Hyundai A-League top six after an injury time goal from Matt McKay handed them a thrilling 3-2 win against the Mariners in Gosford on Saturday.

A blistering opening 20 minutes from the visitor had them in the box seat with two superb strikes from the flying Tommy Oar and Sergio Van Dijk.

But an uncharacteristic error from Roar skipper Craig Moore handed skilful English midfielder Nicky Travis an easy goal to give the Mariners a lifeline just before half-time.

And Coast substitute Dylan Macallister turned hero heading home with 15 minutes left to tie the game 2-2.

But in time added on Roar midfielder Matt McKay popped up to slam home a beautiful goal after the Coast's defence failed to clear a set piece to win the game.

It was Socceroo hopeful Oar lit up proceedings with a sublime piece of skill after just 10 minutes. The Mariners failed to deal with a cross from the right and the ball fell into Oar-s path just inside the box. A shimmy inside and his right-footed strike sailed past Danny Vukovic.

It was just reward for an inventive opening spell from the visitors who looked the sharper of the two sides.

Shortly after, Mariners striker Matt Simon had a golden opportunity to equalise but missed a sitter from the six yard box after Adam Kwasnik had sped down the right and squared it for the big striker.

It was a costly miss for within 60 seconds, Roar's little Brazilian Henrique had broken through the midfield and layed off to Van Dijk in the right channel. The star striker imperiously bent a left foot strike past Vukovic for his ninth goal for the season and a 2-0 lead.

But against the run of play the Coast got themselves back into the contest when a soft pass from keeper Griffin McMaster wasn-t dealt with by Moore on the edge of the box and his weak pass back was picked up by a grateful Travis who blasted into the net with only the keeper to beat.

The Mariners finished the half stronger with a Travis effort just off target in time added on. 2-1 at half time and it was game on.

The second half was a real arm wrestle as both sides threw themselves into the contest. Central Coast youngster Matt Lewis did superbly well just after the hour mark to wriggle his way into the box but his low cross was blasted over by Kwasnik.

Striker Dylan Macallister and Ahmad Elrich were brought on for the final 25 minutes as the Mariners desperately sought to avoid a third straight defeat.

The home side pressed the visitors back in the final stages and it was Macallister who headed home in a crowded box for 2-2 after Alex Wilkinson nodded in across the box from a Travis corner.

Suddenly it was end-to-end stuff with Roar sub Mitch Nichols having a good chance at one end and Oar clearing off the line for Roar at the other.

It was a frantic final few minutes but McKay's opportune strike just inside the box broke Central Coast hearts in time added on.

Central Coast Mariners 2 (Travis 35, Macallister 76) Brisbane Roar 3 (Oar 10, Van Dijk 21, McKay 90+1) @ Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford