Central Coast Mariners have gone within a point of second-placed Adelaide United with a 2-0 win at Bluetongue Stadium this evening. In a mainly dour affair, the Mariners did the damage with a Matt Simon goal in the 50th minute before Adelaide striker Sergio van Dijk unfortunately put in an own goal with just over 10 minutes remaining.
The win allowed the Mariners to go to 36 points, one behind the Reds but the victors have two games in hand on their rivals.
Adelaide have now lost three in a row as the Mariners backed up their 1-0 triumph over North Queensland Fury during the week.
Venue: Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Crowd: approx. 5,000 Referee: Ryan Shepheard Yellow cards:CCM - Rostyn Griffiths 68', Matt Simon 72' AU - Fabian Barbiero 64', Adam Hughes 66'
The opening half-hour or so provided few decent opportunities as Adelaide were enjoying plenty more possession but were unable to create more than just a few half-chances.
The Mariners were soaking up a bit of the pressure by knocking the ball around in their back third but whenever they went forward, they did look dangerous, with the likes of Patricio Perez and Matt Simon providing a few headaches.
The best chance of the half came in the 42nd minute when Mariners right-back Pedj Bojic sent an enticing ball to the back post where Simon's header was knocked away by a reaction save from Reds keeper Eugene Galekovic but apart from that, there was little to really get excited about.
GOAL Five minutes into the second term, the Mariners took the lead when Simon ran onto it and knocked it front of himself before unleashing from the edge of the area, beating Galekovic and giving the home side the advantage.
Central Coast picked up their game following the goal and could have gone 2-0 up when Josh Rose delivered into the area but Adam Kwasnik's header missed the target in what was a huge let off for the visitors.
Adelaide were not showing as much desperation as a side a goal down usually would and it came to bite them when the Mariners managed a second. GOALMichael McGlinchey sent a dangerous corner into the area where substitute Daniel McBreen attempted a header the Galekovic challenged but the ball floated over the top of that contest and deflected off the legs of Reds striker Sergio van Dijk to make it 2-0 in the 78th minute.
Neither side really tested the opposition keeper in the dying stages as the Mariners went on to record a solid 2-0 victory.
Mathew Ryan (gk), Josh Rose (Hutchinson 84'), Alex Wilkinson, Patrick Zwaanswijk, Pedj Bojic, Oliver Bozanic, Rostyn Griffiths Michael McGlinchey, Patricio Perez (Amini 79'), Matt Simon, Adam Kwasnik (McBreen 75')