Simon Cox has come off the bench to snatch a late 1-1 draw for finals chasing Western Sydney Wanderers against Central Coast Mariners at a wet Gosford on Monday night.
The Wanderers’ top six hopes looked like suffering a major blow when Milan Duric had the Mariners in front early in the second half.
But Cox used all his experience and goal-poaching pedigree to head in an equaliser two minutes from the end to secure what could be a priceless point for Jean-Paul de Marigny’s side.
While the Wanderers will have wanted all three points from this clash, they will be relieved to take the draw and edge closer to a spot in the Finals Series.
It was a contest played at a great tempo, with both sides hitting the woodwork in an entertaining and open first half.
Duric struck the crossbar with a trademark long-range effort, while Mohamed Adam was also denied by the woodwork just before the break.
The free-flowing nature of the contest continued in the second half, with Duric giving the Mariners a deserved lead before Cox’s late show.
The result extends Central Coast’s winless run to 13 games and officially confirms the wooden spoon for a fourth time in the last five seasons.
Meanwhile, the Wanderers remain in ninth spot, four points behind sixth place Adelaide United but with a game in hand.