Mariners rally for draw

Late goals from Jerry Kalouris and Bernie Ibini-Isei saw National Youth League leaders Central Coast come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Gold Coast in stifling conditions at Gosford on Friday.

Late goals from Jerry Kalouris and Bernie Ibini-Isei saw National Youth League leaders Central Coast come from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Gold Coast in stifling conditions at Gosford on Friday.

The Mariners looked set for a shock home defeat after goals to James Brown and Andrew Barisic had the visitors 2-0 up with just over 20 minutes to play.

But the home team rallied brilliantly to secure a well-earned point at Bluetongue Stadium.

Kalouris reduced the lead with a well-taken goal in the 77th minute before Ibini-Isei capitalised on some great lead up play from Mitchell Mallia to score Central Coast-s second in the 84th minute.

The Mariners then looked a great chance to go on and win the game, dominating possession and field position in the final five minutes.

Gold Coast opened the scoring after 25 minutes when Brown found the back of the net.

The visitors deserved to lead the break after dominating long periods of the first stanza.

Striker Chris Harold should have opened the scoring for Gold Coast after only six minutes but his shot from close range did not hit the target.

The Mariners had to wait until the 28th minute for their first chance when Gavin Forbes' shot went over the bar.

Both teams struggled in the heat during the first half, but the contest came to life in the second half.

The Mariners had a great chance to equalise in the first minute after the resumption but had two chances cleared off the line and another shot blocked in a frantic start to the second half.

Central Coast looked much better in the second half and looked set to equalise before Barisic scored against the run of play in the 69th minute.

But the lead was not enough with the Mariners storming home to secure a point.