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Mariners hammer Jets 3-0 in A-League

By AAP .
25 January 2014 10:26PM EST

CENTRAL Coast hammered Newcastle 3-0 in their first appearance under a new coach while Adelaide United and Melbourne Heart played out a 2-2 draw in the A-League.

Ryan Griffiths snatched a crucial point for finals aspirants Adelaide United with a 90th-minute goal in a 2-2 draw with Melbourne Heart at Coopers Stadium.

The Reds took the lead in the first half through Bruce Djite and looked on track for three consecutive wins for the first time since September 2010 when they lifted the tempo in the second stanza.

However, against the run of play Heart skipper Harry Kewell converted a penalty on the hour mark to draw level.

Patrick Kisnorbo then stunned the home faithful when the former Leeds United man popped up and headed in to give the visitors the lead on 79 minutes.

The Heart were edging closer to snatching all three points when United's January transfer arrival Griffiths scored his first goal for the club on the stroke of fulltime to spare his new side's blushes.

Neither side created any chances in a dour opening 10 minutes as fan frustration boiled over when Kewell reacted to a member of the crowd.

Kewell looked distressed by something said from the stands, even gesturing and pointing to a supporter before speaking with referee Kris Griffiths-Jones at the next stoppage in play.

The hosts eventually gave the lacklustre contest a pulse on 22 minutes when Djite opened the scoring.

Reds defender Osama Malik raced down the right flank and with time and space delivered a pinpoint cross to the head of winger Awer Mabil whose sharp header from close range was turned away acrobatically by Andrew Redmayne.

Redmayne's athletic stop was in vain as Djite beat his opponent to the ball to knock in the rebound from a tight angle.

With Adelaide dominating in the second period, the visitors struck an equaliser from the penalty spot on 60 minutes.

Massimo Murdocca whipped an in-swinging delivery to the far post which forward Michael Mifsud turned onto the post when he should have scored.

The ball then ricocheted across the face of goal to Mate Dugandzic who went down under a challenge from United centre-back Nigel Boogaard.

Kewell made no mistake as he stepped to the spot and sent Reds captain Eugene Galekovic the wrong way.

With United rocked by the equaliser, the Heart pressed forward and took a shock lead when Kisnorbo rose high in traffic to glance a header into the far corner from midfielder Iain Ramsay's free-kick.

The hosts would not surrender all three points, however, as they extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches when Griffiths struck in a corner from inside the six-yard box at the death.

And then, Central Coast recaptured their championship-winning form to claim bragging rights in the 31st F3 derby, defeating fierce rivals Newcastle 3-0 in convincing fashion.

First-half goals from Anthony Caceras, Matt Simon and Daniel McBreen secured victory to lift the Mariners to second on the table.

The win ensured the Jets remain winless at Bluetongue Stadium in over six years and handed Jets coach Clayton Zane defeat in his first game at the helm.

The Mariners dominated from the get-go and while the Jets were far more spirited in the second half, they could not combat the constant pressure from the defending champions.

Caceras broke the deadlock in sensational style, going on a menacing run from the halfway mark and getting past two defenders before pulling the trigger from 25 meters out in the 13th minute.

Simon continued the early assault with his header going over the crossbar before McBreen forced a save from Jets gloveman Mark Birighitti moments later, the keeper at full stretch to diffuse the strike.

The evergreen McBreen found the back of the net in the 31st minute with a superb curling strike into the top corner to double the advantage.

Simon fired the Mariners' third just before the break, getting on the end of a Mile Sterjovski corner to head home in the 47th minute.

Zane had formulated his gameplan around getting better supply to marquee striker Emile Heskey.

And the former England international had the Jets' best chance of the half with young gun Adam Taggart providing the pass but, with only keeper Liam Reddy to beat, Heskey skied the ball from point-blank range.

Zane brought Andrew Hoole on in the second half and the speedy forward had an instant impact setting up Taggart minutes into the half with Reddy forced to save his ensuing strike.

Craig Goodwin looked like getting one back for the Jets with less than 20 minutes left, drawing a save from Reddy before hitting the post seconds later.

The Mariners kept up their attack with Joshua Rose and substitute Bernie Ibini keeping Birighitti on his toes until the final whistle.

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