Reds' late A-League winner over Mariners

Nov 16, 2017 - 11:16 AM Adelaide United have ended a three-match losing streak and gained a confidence boost for the FFA Cup final with a last-gasp 2-1 A-League win over Central Coast.

Ryan Kitto fired home from the edge of the area in the 93rd minute on Thursday night to halt the Mariners' three-game unbeaten run.

The Mariners led at halftime in Gosford through a 40th-minute Wout Brama penalty after Baba Diawara shoved Connor Pain.

German Daniel Adlung restored parity with a goal of the season contender from 25 metres just before the hour mark.

The Reds created most chances in the game, while the Mariners had a good share of of possession but didn't force their former goalkeeper Paul Izzo to make any big saves.

Conversely, Mariners stopper Ben Kennedy made three important saves after Adelaide drew level and before Kitto scored.

United substitute George Blackwood had two chances to score the winning goal.

He had a header tipped over by Kennedy, who was then perfectly positioned to save a shot from the Adelaide replacement.

Kennedy was also called on to tip away a fierce Kitto drive and then watched a Karim Matmour header go just over the bar before the winner.

The best first-half chance also fell to the visitors and will be a big contender for miss of the season.

An unmarked Nikola Mileusnic was set up eight metres out by his captain Isaias, but smashed the ball across the crossbar, while an earlier Matmour volley was pushed away by Kennedy.

The Mariners had a chance to double their lead just before the break when Kwabena Appiah fired into the side netting.

''I think the victory today was very important and for us a good moment,' Adelaide coach Marco Kurz said.

He was adamant the penalty against his side should not have been given and pinpointed an area which helped his side to turn the game around.

'We hadn't (put) pressure on the ball on the centre backs in the first 20 minutes and that was a mistake and (we) made the correction,' Kurz said.

"Then Karim and Baba made pressure to the centre-backs and then we came in the game.

"After the penalty - I think it wasn't a penalty - but the players stayed calm and concentrated and had a high focus and a big compliment to my boys."

The Mariners lost fullback Josh Rose to a calf injury during the warm-up but coach Paul Okon said that wasn't an excuse and felt his team could have been further ahead at halftime.

"We had a couple of boys who got really fatigued and haven't played much football of late," Okon said.

"(It) probably didn't allow us once we did go forward, or once we cleared the ball, to squeeze up and the ball kept coming back quicker and quicker.'

"Late in the second half they were very direct with longer balls and crosses into the box and that caused us difficulties. I still think we could have done better on both goals."

Source: AAP

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