Central Coast Mariners succumbed to their third defeat of the campaign after falling 2-1 to Adelaide United in Gosford.

Last week saw the Mariners produce one of their best performances as they defeated A-League champions Sydney FC.

However, last night’s showing was a far cry from last round as they struggled to deal with Marco Kurz’s Adelaide side.

Central Coast spent the majority of the second half on the back foot as they tried to contain Adelaide’s rampant attacking force.

Without their captain Alan Baro the Mariners appeared sluggish in defence as they failed to deal with the second ball and clear their lines.

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The hosts paid the ultimate price for their poor defending when they failed to clear the danger and allowed Adelaide’s Daniel Adlung to equalize for the visitors early in the second half.

Central Coast coach Paul Okon acknowledged his sides poor defensive display.

“We needed to deal with those two situations better and if you don’t, in the end it doesn’t matter what times the goals come, they’re going to cost you.”

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However, the 45-year-old was proud of his side’s first half performance.

“We did enough in the first half to go into the break ahead.

“We should have been more than a goal up, we didn’t take our opportunities when we had them.”

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The Mariners looked less of a threat in the final third with Kwabena Appiah-Kubi leading the line for the hosts in replacement for injured Spanish striker Asdrubal.

Appiah-Kubi squandered a host of opportunities for his side as he failed to open his goal scoring account for the campaign. His best opportunity arrived midway through the first half when he came within inches of connecting with Jake McGing’s cross.

The 25-year-old wasn’t the only player who failed to shine in the encounter, Dutch midfielder Tom Hiariej also couldn’t reach the heights set in last round’s victory over Sydney.

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Paul Okon’s men were off the pace and taught a harsh lesson by Adelaide as the Reds injury time winner condemned Central Coast to their third loss of the season and pushed them out of the top six on the A-League table.

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Studying Journalism at UTS. Obsessed with football and a die hard supporter of Sydney FC and Liverpool FC in the EPL