Central Coast Mariners 1-3 Western Sydney Wanderers: Cox begins post-Babbel era with debut goal

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Simon Cox shone on debut as Western Sydney Wanderers began a new era with a 3-1 win over Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.

In their first A-League fixture since sacking Markus Babbel, the Wanderers were indebted to debutant Cox for helping to see off a resilient Central Coast in Gosford.

The former Nottingham Forest striker appeared off the bench in the 58th minute with the visitors leading 1-0 through Nicolai Muller's composed finish late in the first half.

Cox needed just over 15 minutes to make an impact, drawing a penalty that Mitchell Duke converted to double the margin.

Matt Simon threatened to derail Jean-Paul de Marigny's first match as Western Sydney caretaker coach by winning and dispatching a spot-kick at the other end, but the man of the moment had other ideas.

Mohamed Adam and German winger Muller combined on the counter-attack in stoppage time to tee up 32-year-old Cox for a straightforward tap-in, his maiden A-League goal securing Western Sydney their fifth win of the campaign and a much-needed confidence boost.