Mariners clean up as City slips at home

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Melbourne City are still in search of a maiden home win after they were remarkably held to a 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners who produced a spirited comeback.

It will go down as one it the draw column for City but it certainly felt like a loss for the players and staff, who all entered a state of shock and bemusement as they left the AAMI Park turf.

Cruising to a comfortable 2-0 win with 10 minutes to play, City self-destructed with the points seemingly all but wrapped up.

That was until a spirited Mariners outfit put all their recent troubles behind them to claim a season-defining draw.

The rumours of in fighting and player discontent evaporated before the eyes of those in attendance as Glen Trifrio and skipper John Hutchinson produced world class goals to claim a share of the points.

The game should have been out of reach at the time Trifio stepped up to take the free kick in the 80th minute to start the comeback.

City dominated the proceedings up to that point with goals to Mate Dugandzic and Eric Paartalu to give the home side a deserved win.

Coming off the re-badged clubs first win last week against Brisbane Roar, City produced their best performance of the year in the first half, dominating a timid Mariners.

They got their reward just 10 minutes into the game with Dugandzic bagging his second goal in as many weeks.

It was a well-produced goal from the home side. Dugandzic was in the right place to head home an inch-perfect cross from the left by Iain Ramsey.

After starting the season in an unfamiliar left back position, Ramsey was employed further up the pitch and looked dangerous throughout the game.

Dominating possession and creating chances at ease, Paartalu headed home from a corner in the 53rd minute to all but secure the points.

But then it all went wrong.

Two goals of the highest order starting with a Trifrio free kick then a Hutchinson drive from outside the box with the last kick of the game turned what was a disappointing day at the office for Central Coast to a stirring comeback.

The name might be City know, but the capitulation at the end was distinctly Heart-like.

City turned a corner last week against the Roar with a great win, but today’s submission was reminiscent of a time the club hopes to never replicate.

Being held at home to Newcastle and now Central Coast is not the form of a side with the lofty expectations City have on themselves.

Take nothing away from the Mariners, to comeback in the manner in which they did today is the stuff that can turn seasons around. Couple it with the clubs current state, it was truly remarkable.

But it in truth in never should have got that far. There should have been no comeback.

Mariners didn’t claim one point today, City dropped two.

Melbourne City: 1.Andrew Redmayne (GK), 3.Robbie Wielaert, 5.Erik Paartalu, 28.Liam Miller, 7.Iain Ramsay, 25 Jacob Melling (18.Paulo Retre 85’), 11.Damien Duff, 15.David Williams (26.Marc Marino 63’), 17.Jason Hoffman, 23.Mate Dugandzic (14.James Brown 75’), 24.Patrick Kisnorbo (Captain)

Central Coast Mariners: 12. Liam Reddy (GK), 3.Josh Rose, 4.Jacob Poscoliero, 5.Zac Anderson, 7.John Hutchinson (Captain), 8.Nick Montgomery (18.Glen Trifiro 62’), 9.Mitchell Duke (23.Isaka Cernak 78’), 10.Anthony Caceres, 11.Nick Fitzgerald, 15.Matt Sim (17.Richárd Vernes 67’), 21.Michael Neill

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