After tossing water bottles and kicking the pitch, it was an outraged Graham Arnold who faced the music at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday after drawing 2-2 with the bottom-placed Mariners.

While the home side were simply pushing for some positivity, Sydney were relying on three points to keep their chances of making the final top six alive.

“It’s our fault…it should’ve been 2-0, three, four, five. We kept them in the game, 2-0’s always a dangerous scoreline.”

“Sloppiness and individual mistakes has cost us again.”

The visitors were up against a heavy schedule this week, returning from South Korea yesterday with a 1-0 victory, but Arnie conceded that their less-than-perfect result went beyond fatigue.

“I did expect us to fatigue. It’s also difficult because you don’t get to train together as a team. You’ve got to separate players and split it in two groups and there’s no time to work on tactics and no time to work on a game plan.

“It’s difficult but it’s the cards we’ve been dealt, and today we threw away three points.”

The Mariners came back from two down to level the score in extra time, leaving Sydney with three must-win matches against top-six front-runners Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth for the remainder of the season.

“When you throw away points like that, you kill yourself…That’s why I got so angry. It’s got nothing to do with tactics, it’s got nothing to do with game plan…it’s concentration.”

Mariners head coach Tony Walmsley credited his quality substitutes for the impressive finish his home side delivered.

“Subs made a difference today…We got momentum, and even though we conceded the second one late in the first half, we knew we were getting some real opportunities in their half of the pitch.”

“Young Trent Buhagiar, local boy, came on with electric pace and caused havoc every time he was involved…We could have won it with Buhagiar with a volley late on, would’ve been a local hero for life.”

Whistle-happy referee Koichiro Fukushima had some impact on the game, but it was the belief of his men that Walmsley was really questioning at half time.

“We had one (goal) disallowed that probably, on reflection, the referees would probably say should’ve stood…but today showed that there’s always something to play for.

“I’m really pleased for the fans who were here, who made a great noise and brought us home…I’ve never stopped believing in this group.”

Montgomery is in doubt for next round with a strained calf but Luis Garcia and Mitch Austin will return to the fold after suspensions. Meanwhile Arnie’s in need of a good night’s sleep before facing three weeks of deal-breaker matches.

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A 20 year old Media and Law student trying to tame those stream-of-consciousness writing habits with an ickle bit of fun at the Central Coast Mariners.