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Sub Duke lifts Mariners over Reds

By AAP .
25 January 2013 10:10PM EST

YOUNG striker Mitchell Duke came off the bench to fire Central Coast to a come-from-behind 3-1 victory over Adelaide and extend their lead atop the A-League.

Duke scored twice in the second half to turn what had been a frustrating match for the Mariners in front of 8294 fans at Bluetongue Stadium.

Despite totally dominating the first half, the home side trailed 1-0 at halftime of the top-of-the-table cash after Reds defender Daniel Bowles' scored against the run of play.

But Duke's performance, and an inspired substitution by Graham Arnold, ensured Central Coast moved six points clear of second-placed Adelaide.

Midfielder Michael McGlinchey sealed the win with a goal in the 89th minute.

Celtic-bound playmaker Tom Rogic was officially farewelled at halftime and life after the young playmaker won't be looking quite as dim following the performance of 22-year-old Duke.

He entered the game in the 61st minute in place of Oliver Bozanic and needed only six minutes to pull the Mariners level.

The Reds failed to defuse a Nick Montgomery cross and Duke was on hand to poke the ball home for his second A-League goal.

Duke was again involved a short time later as his cross was handballed by Bowles in the box and referee Peter O'Leary pointed to the penalty spot.

League top scorer Daniel McBreen stepped up but had this spot kicked denied by a brilliant diving save from Eugene Galekovic.

The miss was quickly forgotten, though, when Duke gave the Mariners the lead in the 72nd minute with a fine solo effort.

He controlled the ball well, created space for himself, then unleashed a powerful shot from just outside the box to score.

Duke would have had a hat-trick if not for another great save by Galekovic.

Arnold also introduced new signing Nick Fitzgerald and he provided the assist as McGlinchey scored from close range in the dying minutes.

Remarkably, Adelaide took a 1-0 lead into halftime despite being totally dominated by the Mariners.

The home side's best opportunities came in a frantic three-minute period, with Bernie Ibini hitting the side netting from a dangerous McBreen ball in the 16th minute.

Ibini then made a spectacular run into the box two minutes later before Bozanic scuffed a shot, allowing Galekovic to stop it from point-blank range.

The frustration continued as McBreen struck the post a minute later and chances continues to go begging as the half went on.

Adelaide almost stole the lead against the run of play in the 36th minute through Jeronimo Neumann but they did so three minutes later.

Bowles' long-range shot took a deflection off Bozanic and Mariners 'keeper Mat Ryan could do little as it went in off the left upright.

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