Central Coast Mariners have seized control of their A-League Men finals destiny after escaping from an enthralling and controversial derby clash with a 4-2 win over the Newcastle Jets.

Central Coast Mariners - Newcastle Jets

  • Mariners beat Jets 4-2 on Saturday in the A-League.
  • The six goal-fest match saw Jets claw back from a 3-0 deficit, in the second half only to have their equalizing goal disallowed.
  • Central Coast remain fifth in the ladder, Newcastle ninth.

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Their place in the top six on the line, a goal from Brazilian attacker Moresche and a brace from Jason Cummings in the opening stanza seemingly had them sitting pretty at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday night.

But after being left to stew in the dressing room by coach Arthur Papas, the Jets forced their way back to 3-2 within five minutes of the resumption thanks to Lucas Mauragis and an own goal from Jacob Farrell.

"Football's the best game in the world and that's the reason why," Mariners coach Nick Montgomery said.

"3-0, we're cruising before two of the sloppiest goals we've conceded.

"But after that, I thought we could have killed the game off so many times."

Nonetheless, when Savvas Siatravanis pounced on Mark Birighitti's save from an Archie Goodwin effort to net in the 82nd minute, it appeared a momentous Jets comeback had been completed.

But VAR spoiled the script, disallowing the goal for Goodwin's push on Kye Rowles.

In a thrilling finish, 17-year-old Garang Kuol netted in the 91st minute to make it 4-2 before Jet attacker Daniel Penha, his frustrations bubbling over, received a red card for elbowing.

"I think on entertainment value, tonight both sides were as good as anyone," Montgomery said of the occasion.

Unsurprisingly, the Mariner boss also felt referee Kurt Ams made the correct decision in disallowing the goal.

Papas, though, was of a different view.

"Probably a game decided by a decision from the referee," he said.

"It's a goal. That's it.

"I don't know how that call's made.

"This game shouldn't have been about a refereeing decision."

The Mariners have now vaulted into the fifth position on the A-League table on 33 points.

And while sixth-placed Wellington also have 33 points with a game in hand, Macarthur and Sydney FC are, respectively, one and two points adrift of the Mariners despite having played one game more.

Their next test will come against second-placed Western United in a week's time.

Newcastle's thoughts will turn to planning for next season and serving as a spoiler in remaining games against Macarthur, Western, and, on the final day of their season, the Mariners.



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