MICHAEL McGlinchey has scored a winner in injury-time for the Central Coast Mariners in a 2-1 triumph over 10-man Perth Glory in a dramatic match at Bluetongue Stadium on Tuesday night.
Glory midfielder Jacob Burns was sent off in injury time after a series of incidents culminated in the midfielder getting two yellow cards.
The defending champions dropped playmaker Marcos Flores and defender Marcel Seip in the wake their 2-0 loss to the Wanderers.
The duo were replaced by Mitchell Duke and Zac Anderson.
Perth, who were already missing big names William Gallas and Shane Smeltz, were also shorn of Jamie Maclaren, who was a late withdrawal.
Cameron Edwards and Ryo Nagai were also missing.
Perth's lack of early possession meant the home side was in control for most of the fixture but injuries to key defenders Sainsbury and Anderson will leave coach Phil Moss concerned despite the win.
Having dominated the game early with plenty of crisp passing the Mariners opened up proceedings when 21 year-old Sainsbury finished off a scrappy effort from Perth in the 12th-minute.
The Glory failed to clear a McGlinchey corner which ended up falling to fellow defender Anderson, who provided the assist for Sainsbury.
Central Coast continued to dominate possession as Perth's midfield sat very deep for most of the first period.
After 31 minutes goal-scorer Sainsbury collected the back of Ndumba Makeche's head but both played on despite looking worse for wear moments after the head-clash.
Mariners' Mile Sterjovski blasted at goal in the 39th minute and it appeared to be blocked by the arm of a Perth Glory defender, however referee Shaun Evans waved play on.
Kenny Lowe, Perth's interim boss, would have been happier with an improved effort in the final part of the first stanza and into the second half as the visitor's started to get more possession but still failed to trouble Mariners goalkeeper Liam Reddy.
Skipper Burns did shoot from long range but his effort was well over the bar in the 51st minutes.
Ten minutes later team-mate Chris Harold shot from similar distance but was more accurate forcing Reddy into a save low down to his right.
Sainsbury went off after 65 minutes with a hamstring injury. However moments after the substitution his replacement Seip was booked, having come on before he was allowed to.
The Mariners were forced into a further defensive change with skipper John Hutchinson dropping back to defence as Flores replaced Anderson, who appeared to be suffering from cramps.
Harold continued to try hard for the visitors with substitute Isaka Cernak providing a cross for the 21 year-old who headed just wide of the left hand post.
The striker's efforts were rewarded six minutes from time after his run into the box resulted in a spot-kick following Seip's challenge.
McGarry, celebrating his 100th A-League game, converted the penalty.
Four minutes later the Mariners fans were off their feet pleading for a penalty after McGlinchey went down in the Perth penalty area.
However the drama wasn't over as Burns was sent off before Japan-bound McGlinchey scored the late winner.
A header back from Sterjovski was met by Daniel McBreen, whose own header hit the post before McGlinchey blasted home the winner.
Central Coast Mariners 2 (Sainsbury 12, McGlinchey 90+)
Perth Glory 1 (McGarry 84 (p))
Crowd: 12,919 @ Bluetongue Stadium