Central Coast Mariners have moved to second on the A-League table with a 2-0 away win over Newcastle Jets tonight. The Mariners struck in the 14th minute through Matt Simon before stitching up the three points a few minutes before regular time thanks to substitute John Hutchinson.
Central Coast are now equal on points with Adelaide United but have a superior goal difference whilst the Jets remain sixth but squandered a golden opportunity to move up to fifth and now have a fight on their hands to stay in the final six.
Venue: EnergyAustralia Stadium, Newcastle Crowd: 13,463 Referee: Chris Beath Yellow cards:NJ - Marcello Fiorentini 62', Marko Jesic 71', Sasho Petrovski 90+3' CCM - nil
The Jets lost captain Kasey Wehrman in the 12th minute due to injury in what was a major blow that out rhe side in disarray just minutes before they conceded. GOAL Mariners striker Matt Simon managed to sneak in and knock home a poor Nikolai Topor-Stanley back pass, arriving on the scene just before goalkeeper Ben Kennedy could, scoring his ninth of the season.
Newcastle worked their way back into proceedings but the Mariners were holding them at bay comfortably before visiting keeper came up with a top notch save just after the break when Ruben Zadkovich shot on goal.
Down the other end, the Mariners had a chance to wrap up the contest when Adam Kwasnik missed from close range when he should have done better but luckily his side got a second to claim maximum points three minutes from time.
GOALMichael McGlinchey found substitute John Hutchinson on the edge of the area before the Malta international slotted neatly past Kennedy to make it 2-0 in the 87th minute, giving his side a vital victory as the finals race begins to heat up.
NJ Ben Kennedy (gk), Taylor Regan, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Kasey Wehrman (Virgili 12'), Ruben Zadkovich, Tarek Elrich, Jobe Wheelhouse, Labinot Haliti (Petrovski 65'), Marcello Fiorentini, Marko Jesic (Brockie 77'), Ryan Griffiths
Subs - Matthew Nash (gk), James Virgili (12'), Sasho Petrovski (65'), Jeremy Brockie (77')
CCM Matthew Ryan (gk), Josh Rose, Pedj Bojic (Sainsbury 90+1'), Patrick Zwaanswijk, Rostyn Griffiths, Patricio Perez (Hutchinson 76'), Oliver Bozanic, Michael McGlinchey, Alex Wilkinson, Matt Simon, Adam Kwasnik (Baird 65')