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Australian Football: Mariners left in disbelief after City loss

Central Coast Mariners coach Nick Montgomery was left in disbelief after two controversial penalty decisions cost his side badly in the 3-2 defeat against Melbourne City.

The Mariners are priced 6/4 at to finish in the top six of the A-League this season but are struggling to pick up points and currently sit second from bottom on the ladder.

Controversial decisions

Montgomery and his players were left frustrated and angry following two penalty decisions that went against them, with the Mariners boss saying the officials ruined the game.

With the Mariners losing 3-2 in the dying moments, they thought they would get the chance to equalise when Mathew Leckie stepped on Lewis Miller's foot and brought him down in the area.

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In real time it looked clear cut but the referee opted to consult VAR before deciding that no contact had been made.  The incident left Miller with a gash on the top of his foot and Montgomery could not hide his disappointment.

"Lewis Miller's icing a gash on top of his foot and again I don't know how you can't see that live," Montgomery said.

"The players' reaction from Melbourne City knew it was a penalty, they know they've given the penalty away, you see his reaction and then we have to take the player off because he's got a gash on top of his foot and apparently, there's no contact. I'm just in disbelief more than anything."

Outside of the box

Earlier in the game Central Coast had been leading 1-0 when City were awarded a penalty following a challenge by Kye Rowles on Marco Tilio.

But the first contact clearly took place outside of the penalty area before Tilio went down in the box. But again after consulting VAR the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

"Melbourne City's first penalty is outside the box and that's a fact," Montgomery added. "First contact is outside the box and when questioned about it, the feedback I got from the officials was it wasn't the first contact it was the second contact.

"I don't know when the rules changed but first contact as the player goes down, if he falls in the box and there's another contact. It's not the second contact."

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