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Reds rise from bottom after Mariners win

NZN 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.

Coach Guillermo Amor was delighted with his 29-year-old marksman, who has made major inroads since signing in January with four goals from three games in all competitions .

"Enormous," Amor said.

"He is happy here now. He is with confidence, he wants more.

"When players arrive here from Europe there is always adaptation, but in the last games he's played well, he participates more.

"For this he is working every day."

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.

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 Reds captain Eugene Galekovic parried away unconvincingly.

The Reds then fashioned a gilt-edged 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 that an unmarked Appiah headed past a 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 failed to control a clearance, and McGowan promptly put the Reds in the lead with a thumping header off a corner.

Diawara's second for the evening put the result beyond doubt, heading in another corner to cap a good night of set pieces that Mariners coach Paul Okon said cost them the result.

"We've prided ourselves all season on the fact that on defensive set pieces we've been excellent," Okon said.

"Tonight to concede two in five or 10 minutes is really disappointing."

The hosts refused to surrender and Roux cut a swathe through Adelaide's defence, forcing Galekovic into a diving save.

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

Ferreira will have wished his injury-time shot wasn't wide of the post as the defeat left the Mariners bottom with three rounds remaining.

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