Mariners down Sydney FC

Central Coast Mariners scored an impressive 3-1 win over Sydney FC to maintain their hold on second place and skip three points clear of their rivals, whose hopes of topping the table were ended with the defeat.


Central Coast Mariners scored an impressive 3-1 win over Sydney FC to maintain their hold on second place and skip three points clear of their rivals, whose hopes of topping the table were ended with the defeat.

The win for the Mariners keeps them in the hunt to take the premiership as they continue their chase of leaders Gold Coast United who started the round with a six-point lead.

On the quarter hour mark Mariners' midfielder Nicholas Fitzgerald showed fast feet on the edge of the penalty area before flashing his shot wide with Sky Blues goalkeeper Aaron Liddell left rooted to the spot.

The visitors scored the all-important opener on 21 minutes as quick distribution from goalkeeper David Bradasevic released forward Mitchell Duke who advanced downfield virtually unchallenged and finished with a well-hit low drive from 20 metres.

James Oates doubled the advantage ten minutes from the break scoring in similar fashion to the opener. A quick transition from defence to attack resulted in Oates letting fly from the edge of the area with his superbly hit shot leaving Liddell with no chance.

Any hopes of a comeback by the home team were ended almost immediately upon the restart as Duke scored his second with yet another perfect low striker-s finish with Liddell left exposed. Matthew Lewis almost had the Sky Blues once again red-faced with his incisive run ending with a shot that fizzed past the post.

Oates skied over after being left clear at a Fitzgerald corner, while substitute Max Glanville produced an excellent one-handed stop as the Mariners threatened to run riot.

A disappointing Sydney FC rarely looked likely so score with striker Justin Hayward blazing a rare opportunity over with only the goalkeeper to beat.

The Sky Blues secured a consolation just prior to the end with Brendan Gan rising above a static Mariners defence to nod home a well-flighted free kick played in from the right.

There was still time however for Sydney to earn a penalty with Gan bundled over only for Bradasevic to pull off a fine stop from Blake Powell-s spot-kick.

Sydney FC: 1 (Brendan Gan 86-) Central Coast Mariners: 3 (Mitchell Duke 21-, 47- James Oates 35-)