A strong Mariners performance was left unrewarded on Friday night as Adelaide United scored twice late to claim all three points in a Valentines Day encounter at Coopers Stadium.
Despite dominating large swathes of the game the Mariners could not find the final product, and goals to George Blackwood and Mohamed Toure late in the game secured a win for the Reds.
After scoring on his debut last week new signing Chris Harold earned a first Hyundai A-League start in Yellow & Navy with Josh Nisbet and Michael McGlinchey joining him in the starting line up in the Mariners third league outing against Adelaide this season.
The Mariners came flying out of the traps with Harold getting the early chances; first seeing an effort deflect out for a corner before striking a volley off the bar after a mix-up in the Adelaide ranks.
The Mariners defence remained strong in the first half with Ziggy Gordon marshalling the back with great composure.
Defence turned to attack on 34 minutes and after some good build up play by the Central Coast Gordon found himself with time and space to have a shot, and the Scotsman’s drive was well held by Izzo in the Adelaide net.
Mark Birighitti was called into action for the time towards the end of the first half, clawing away a deflected United cross which looked to be looping its way into the back of the net.
Harold made way for Jair in the early exchanges of the second half, with the Brazilian getting involved in the action immediately.
Good control saw the frontman cut inside from the left and find enough space to unleash a strike that which was well held by Izzo.
The visitors had a strong chance to open the scoring when Ruon Tongyik rose highest to meet a Clisby corner however his deflected header flew just over the bar.
Despite the continuing Mariners pressure it was the hosts who opened the scoring, with George Blackwood curling a strike into the top corner.
Some good build up play from the Reds after a turnover created space for Blackwood to shoot and net his fourth goal of the season for the South Australian outfit.
The score was put beyond all doubt moments later with substitute Mohamed Toure netting just minutes after coming off the bench.
Sam Silvera was introduced to the fray late on and looked to spark something but the score remained 2-0, and the Mariners now look ahead to next Sunday’s home clash against Sydney FC.