Defender replaces sent-off keeper as Mariners stun Sky Blues with 99th-minute winner

Catch all the highlights from Central Coast's dramatic 2-1 win over Sydney FC on Wednesday night.

Central Coast Mariners survived a red card to goalkeeper Sarah Langman and 22 minutes with defender Ash Irwin in goal to find a 99th-minute winner from Wurigumula in a 2-1 triumph over Sydney FC on Wednesday night.

The Mariners went ahead via a Charlotte Mclean own goal but the visitors were reduced to 10 after substitute goalkeeper Sarah Langman received a second yellow card in the 78th minute; Langman had replaced first-choice Mariners keeper Casey Dumont at half-time, and her dismissal meant defender Irwin was asked to fill in between the sticks for the remainder of the contest.

MATCH CENTRE: For all the goals, highlights and big moments

Mackenzie Hawkesby’s stoppage-time goal looked sure to rescue Sydney FC a late point but there was more action to come, as referee Rebecca Mackie spotted a handball from Sydney defender Tori Tumeth and despite a save from Jada Whyman from Wurigumula’s initial attempt, the Chinese international tucked home on the rebound to snatch all three points in a dramatic contest at Leichhardt Oval.

The win was Central Coast’s first over Sydney FC in 15 years as Emily Husband’s side climbed into fourth spot on the Liberty A-League table, just one point behind Sydney in third.

The visitors threatened to take any early lead when Bianca Galic played Paige Hayward in on goal; her attempt from a narrow angle was cut out by Jada Whyman who rushed off her line to make the block.

Aideen Keane had the chance to break the deadlock for the Sky Blues as she took control of possession in the box after a series of one-touch passes, but her volleyed attempt was sent wide of the mark.

Then, the Mariners broke through and it was Mclean whose attempted interception from Jazmin Wardlow’s cross diverted off the Sydney defender and into the back of the net.

Zara Kruger tested Mariners keeper Casey Dumont late in the first half with a stinging strike from the edge of the area. Dumont pushed the shot out of danger as a pair of Mariners players clattered into Kruger on the edge of the box in a hefty collision of bodies.

Matildas winger Cortnee Vine came off the bench for Sydney at half-time and she came to life on the hour mark. Mackenzie Hawkesby found Vine in the box with a through ball and if not for a well-timed Annabel Martin tackle, Vine would have had a one-on-one chance to score.

Then Vine turned provider, slipping Hawkesby through on goal soon after but once again, the Mariners were up to the challenge of keeping Sydney at bay with desperate tackling.

In the 68th minute, Vine was brought down in the box by Tiarna Karambasis but referee Rebecca Mackie saw no foul from the Mariners defender and elected not to award a penalty. Karambasis and Vine went shoulder to shoulder in the box, with the latter wearing a wry smile as she picked herself up off the ground.

Then came a very rare sight in football, as Mariners defender Irwin was asked to don the gloves and fill in as goalkeeper following Langman’s dismissal for a second yellow card.

Langman had replaced Dumont at half-time after the first-choice Mariners keeper appeared to be suffering with discomfort through the opening 45 minutes. Langman received one caution for time wasting, and another for collecting Sydney winger Abbey Lemon as she took a touch past the outrushing keeper.

Irwin stepped up for the Mariners and was instantly in the thick of the action; Tumeth had the ball in the net from the resulting free-kick but the goal wasn’t allowed to stand after the Sydney defender’s heavy front-on contact with Irwin in the six-yard box.

But as the clock ticked into added time, Hawkesby found Sydney’s equaliser, catching the stand-in keeper off guard with a long-range strike that slipped through Irwin’s hands and over the line.

Sydney were back on level terms and pushing for a winner before referee Mackie’s decision to point to the spot after Wardlow’s cross deflected off the boot of Tumeth and up onto her arm.

Wurigumula’s subsequent spot kick was saved by Whyman but the Mariners striker was quickest to the ball drop to tuck home the dramatic winner.