Sydney FC have heaped more misery on Central Coast with a late double securing a 4-2 win for the Sky Blues on Saturday at Allianz Stadium.
Marc Janko and Rhyan Grant scored a goal in each half to cancel out a brace from Mariners’ Portuguese import Fabio Ferreira.
But super-sub Shane Smeltz came on late to regain the lead for Sydney with Janko striking again at the death to give Sydney their first home win in seven matches.
After being rolled 5-1 by Sydney FC last time they met, the Mariners were out to settle the score but couldn’t match the firepower of the Sky Blues’ attack who have scored a massive 15 goals in their past four games.
After the disappointment of missing out on the Asian Champions League with a limp 3-1 loss against Guangzhou R&F, the Mariners were desperate to get their A-League season back on track.
But it wasn’t to be for the Mariners who have still only managed three wins this campaign.
Defensive errors cost them on Tuesday and it was no different at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
An unmarked Janko charged towards goal, meeting a Milos Dimitrijevic corner with momentum to power the header home in the 14th minute.
Ferreira and Nick Fitzgerald combined several times in an attempt to equalise with Isaka Cernak also threatening and the Mariners finally broke through just before the break.
Anthony Caceres played a great through-ball to Ferreira who, left in an eternity of space, tore down the right level to score.
Sydney FC emerged from the break desperate to regain the lead with marquee man Janko putting Liam Reddy to work twice.
But it was the Mariners who would score next in the 58th minute with Ferreira continuing to terrorise the Sky Blues.
Cernak weaved his way through the Sydney defence to offload to the Portuguese midfielder who gave the Mariners the 2-1 advantage with his sixth goal against Sydney in as many games.
Sydney levelled in spectacular style nine minutes later when the ball was played back to substitute Grant, who struck a long-range missile into the bottom right corner.
Sydney coach Graham Arnold brought on Smeltz for Alex Brosque in the 70th minute, hoping the Kiwi would repeat the heroics of last week’s clash with Melbourne Victory in which he scored a late brace.
And Smeltz delivered.
Bernie Ibini played the cross to Janko who, not well positioned, chested it down to Smeltz for the 81st-minute strike.
But Sydney weren’t done yet with Janko, who scored a double against the Mariners in their last meeting, doing the same on Saturday with a goal in extra time – his sixth in four games and 10th of the season.