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Wanderers end winless A-League run

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/12/2016 Adrian Warren

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic was ecstatic after his team overcame an early deficit and a send-off to end a six-match winless run with a thumping 4-1 away victory on Saturday over Central Coast.

Areentine playmaker Nicolas Martinez and Socceroo Mitch Nichols provided the attacking inspiration, as the Wanderers finished the stronger, despite playing the last half-hour with 10 men following the dismissal of goalkeeper Jarrad Tyson.

Martinez scored the go-ahead goal after Western Sydney had trailed 1-0 and Nicholls was involved in the build-up to two of the visitors' scores.

Tyson was sent off by referee Kris Griffith-Jones who deemed the keeper had denied Trent Buhagiar a goalscoring chance.

"I wasn't sure, from where I was, it was even a foul. I expected a yellow card at worst," Popovic said.

"When he pulled the player aside, to see a red, I was shocked.

"But that's the decision, we have to live with it and the players certainly didn't let that affect them and it showed in the way they finished the last half hour.

"Things seemed to be not going our way but the boys showed a lot of mental strength and still looked dangerous when they had the ball.

"We're ecstatic. Defensively, it was a team effort. In attack, we always looked dangerous.

"I think that's been coming for a lot of weeks. We haven't been able to put teams away so it was nice to get four goals."

Mariners coach Paul Okon said he didn't get a clear view of the Tyson incident, but felt if it was a free-kick outside the penalty area, the red card was the correct call.

He said the Mariners missed experienced midfielders Mickael Tavares and Nick Montgomery.

"I can't really fault the players. Their attitude and their application and their hunger to get the job done today was first class," Okon said.

The match started in sensational fashion with both sides scoring in the first six minutes, each with the aid of a slight deflection.

Blake Powell slammed home a cross from Storm Roux to give the Mariners a fifth-minute lead.

Within 60 seconds, it was the turn of the Wanderers' travelling supporters to celebrate, with Japanese winger Jumpei curling the ball home.

"It's a little disappointing that we go up 1-0, a great goal, and then - a minute later - we allow the Wanderers cheaply into our penalty box," Okon said.

The Wanderers deservedly hit the front when Martinez's diving header rounded off a fine team move.

The Mariners finished the half well with Roy O'Donovan hitting the post and Adam Berry blazing the loose ball over.

"We probably should have gone into the break two each and it changes the game a little bit," Okon said.

Western Sydney went close a couple of times early in the second half before Nichols and Scott Neville combined down the left-hand side, and Mariners defender Jake McGing turned a cross from the latter into his own net.

The Wanderers created virtually all the final-quarter opportunities before substitute Brendon Santalab lashed home a cross from Neville for the fourth goal.

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