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Reds rise from bottom after Mariners win

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 25/03/2017 Emma Kemp

Baba Diawara has inspired a 3-2 comeback win for Adelaide United over Central Coast to lift the Reds off the bottom of the A-League table for the first time since January.

The Senegalese striker bagged a brace and Dylan McGowan scored another in Gosford on Saturday, giving the defending champions a first away win this season and improving their odds of avoiding the wooden spoon.

It was a match in which the pendulum swung unpredictably, and Kwabena Appiah's first-half goal appeared to give the Mariners a solid platform on which to keep their slim finals chances alive.

Roy O'Donovan converted a late penalty for the hosts to round off the night's scoring.

Fabio Ferreira was unlucky not to score soon after the half-hour mark when he fed Appiah, continued his run past two defenders and then unleashed a low effort that Reds captain Eugene Galekovic managed to keep out.

The Reds then fashioned an opening, only for a lunging Diawara to somehow fail to get a boot on Sergio Cirio's cross as an open net beckoned.

In the very same minute, a defensive lapse allowed the Mariners to take the lead on the eve of halftime.

Storm Roux pounced on a poor clearance and curled in a cross from the right, which Appiah met with a glancing header that went into the net, past the diving Galekovic, in the goalkeeper's 250th A-League appearance.

But the Reds returned from the break with a vengeance and buried three goals within 10 minutes to take control.

Diawara finished from close range on 56 minutes, after Liam Rose miscontrolled a clearance, and McGowan promptly put the Reds in the lead with a thumping header off a corner.

Diawara's fourth goal in three games put the result beyond doubt, a near-carbon copy of his teammate's headed goal from a corner, to cap a good night of set pieces.

The hosts refused to throw in the towel and Roux cut a swathe through Adelaide's defence and forced Galekovic into a diving save from the top of the penalty box.

A Kim Jae-Sung handball gave Central Coast a 90th-minute lifeline and O'Donovan slotted the ensuing penalty.

Ferreira will have wished his late shot wasn't wide of the post as the defeat left the Mariners bottom with three rounds remaining in the regualar season.

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